Loïc’s awesome smoked beef

For us, the holidays are usually all about eating and drinking (and complaining about eating too much and then starting it all over again the following day). We are quite lucky that most of our guests are also food fanatics like us so we can spend hours upon hours talking about restaurants and recipes. This year, one of Loïc’s most popular holiday creations was the giant smoked beef we served on Christmas eve. Marinated for 24 hours with rock salt, Greek rosemary, zinfandel wine,  worcestershire sauce and a lot of love, this recipe was so rich in flavors thanks not only to the new recipe, but also thanks to all the little local ingredients such as coconut shells, sugar cane husks, banana leaves (and also apple wood chips hand carried from America…airport customs agents must have thought that we were nuts). Anyway, no more rambling, here is the recipe for you!

Ingredients:

2-4 kilos of Beef (Cube Roll if available)
Rock Sea Salt
Rosemary
1 bottle of Zinfandel wine
120-140 ml of Worcestershire sauce
 

Directions:

1) Gradually start massaging the rock salt and rosemary into the beef after cutting off any excess fat.  Depending on the size of the meat, this may take around 30 minutes to really work in the spices.

2) After the massage experience, place the beef in an airtight container and submerge the meat in Zinfandel wine and Worcestershire sauce. Be sure to use enough of both liquids to ensure that no part of the beef is exposed to air.  Seal off the container and place in the refrigerator for between 18-30 hours.

3) Remove the beef from the liquids but be sure to save all the marinade as it will be used during the smoking process

4) Light up your smoker and burn the charcoal for about 30 minutes or until the charcoal is hot enough.  After this (if you have access to it) begin adding coconut shells, sugar cane husks, banana leaves, and/or apple wood chips on top of the coals continually as you go along and add more charcoal as needed to ensure the temperature is sufficiently hot and smoky.

5) Once the fire is hot enough, place your beef in the smoker and let it slowly cook. The beef should have the remaining marinade brushed over it once after an hour and then re-brush the marinade over the beef every 45 minutes afterwards.

-depending on the size of the meat, total cooking time can vary between 3-4 hours on average but it can be useful to use a meat thermometer if available to ensure you don’t overcook the beef.

6) Remove beef from the BBQ, serve, and ENJOY!

 

Oh, you Glorious beef!

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The moment of truth…dsc_0510

When you can see the smoke oozing out of the beefdsc_0517

Our guests ask for a more well done version but you can also have to medium rare toodsc_0520

Words of Encouragement

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Friends always think that we have a really cool job. Making drinks, talking with guests, chilling out by the swimming pool, living in this really cool town… Of course, we are so happy right where we are, but it is impossible to explain the long working hours, the stress of finding the right staff, the burden of getting our place more visible to the world. So, if you can picture how much motivation and happiness and energy and excitement we feel every time we read a review from our amazing guests. Well, multiple that by ten times and that’s how grateful we are with kind words from our guests.

Like this one from Travis and Camille, a lovely couple from the US that chose to spend 5 nights with us back in July. They were also the first couple that we went out for dinner with (a very boozy night at H’Mong Sisters indeed). Thank you Camille for a lovely drawing in our guestbook (it is exactly how we remember you guys!), and Travis for a beautifully-written review (our family thinks you must be, or should be, a writer!). We hope to see you guys again soon, in New York or Hanoi!

“Within this outpost of civilization and good taste, you will find wine, music, architecture, fluffy cotton towels, a gorgeous black-bottom infinity pool, and best of all, two perfect hosts and conversationalists, Loïc and Van Anh Diels. The staff, trained by your hosts and some of their international colleagues in the hospitality industry, is attentive and unobtrusive, which, as travelers familiar with Vietnam will know, is a perk not to be taken for granted. You will remember forever the rice paddies that sprawl into the mountainous distance around you; the loafing water buffalos, the perching storks. You’ll remember forever the house cocktails, conceived and executed by Loïc the artist, of lavender and rosemary infused gins. I say artist instead of “mixologist” because the latter term smacks of too much science. Nothing about this stunningly renovated French Colonial plantation house with gorgeous flooring and fixtures feels like cold, hard science even if your hosts both have masters degrees in hospitality and likely orchestrate very much when you aren’t looking. Finally, there’s the pricing. Belgian beers and imported wines are priced seemingly at cost. Guests will note a sense of honest restraint where they might elsewhere expect absurd mark-ups and service fees associated with, say, having food delivered or day trips organized. Here again we see that at Heron House the dismal science of life is suppressed, and the art of it set free.”