Bush cooking with Roothy: Slow beef on the Spithouse!
THIS time around our big cookup featured a product I've been playing with ever since I saw a little film clip on the computer down at Doc Zig Zag's office while we were looking at some of his medical research photos. He's a good bloke our Doc, always trying to keep abreast of what's happening so to speak...
Anyway somehow, while inputting 'on the spit' into the Groogle search machine - don't ask why - we came up with this bloke down in Victoria who straight away seemed like a real decent kind of guy. Why? Because his mission in life was simple - to stop his mates from becoming vegetarians by cooking up some of the best meat meals on earth.
And by doing these on a spit he managed to make each meal take about an afternoon which meant plenty of time for mateship and throat cleansing and all those other things a bloke's got to do to remind himself why he bothers working.
Yep, Terry from Spithouse www.spithouse.com.au found the whole process of slow-cooking meals to be such a wonderful way to relax and enjoy time spent doing nothing, he took it a step further and designed his own spit to do it with. Then, being the sort of bloke who needs plenty of shed time, Terry started making his own spits in his backyard shed.
They're absolute beauties too, I should know, I've got one and it's been used every time I've got a mission on to feed a crowd. Over last Christmas it did beef, pork and I even had a go at a turkey. The turkey would have worked if the Old Sea Dog, my father-in-law, hadn't decided to do his Elvis impersonation dancing around the deck. We were all laughing so hard nobody noticed the turkey going up in flames...
Err, that's the bird on the spit I'm talking about, not the father-in-law.
Right, so because I reckon there's nothing better than a great reason to spend lots of time cooking up a great meal, I took my Spithouse wandering down south on our second filming trip so I could introduce the lads to it too.
Knowing Glen and Kenno I knew they'd love the notion of not doing much while surrounded by the smells of the lovely meal you're going to get eventually. Glen loved it so much he couldn't leave Victoria without buying his own Spithouse to take home.
I'll tell you how after the video:
- Some big lumps of beef
- Olive oil
- Vegeta Gourmet Stock
- A Spithouse spit and a bag of Heat Beads
Potatoes cooked in alfoil in the fire
Righto, our meal is only one of the million varieties you could manage on a spit and it was mostly made up on the spot. You get that when there's beer and LowRange in the same place.
My mate Salv from Darche was along for the drive and being a Vicwobblian he had a few great ideas on food which I promptly stole too, including the use of Vegeta stock. Great stuff!
All I did was mix up the ingredients in a bowl and plaster them all over the beef on the spit. Then the spit went on to the coals and the rest was mostly waiting, and getting another wait, and emptying that wait and getting another one.
Having used the Spithouse a few times now it's pretty obvious that almost anything will work on it as long as you get one thing right - that's the coals themselves.
Terry told me he only ever uses Heat Beads and having tried a couple of cheaper bags of coal I've found he's dead right there - they're more expensive for a reason; they burn more evenly and for much longer.
If there's a trick it's to get the timing right. Light up about half a bag of self-igniting beads and half a bag of normal Heat Beads in the tray and let them burn themselves out until they're glowing light grey all over. That's when it's ready to start cooking!
The best thing about that is you only need to heed the timing early in the cooking process. Good thing too, because by later on, time won't have so much meaning...
Our beef looked kind of black on the outside. That was the thick goopy basting mix burning off rather than the meat itself and I really can't tell you how good it tasted. It was brilliant!
If you're looking for a great way to relax, then try cooking a few meals on the spit. They're the best!