Beef featherblade before is a long cut of meat taken from the inside of the shoulder. As a hard-working muscle, it benefits from slow cooking, just like brisket. This recipe was given to us by Pitt Cue Co – the ‘barbecue, bourbon & beer’ enthusiasts who played a big part in bringing pulled pork to the UK. We collaborated with them on an At Home food box that sold out in minutes, so you know you’re in safe hands here.
MAKE THE PITT CUE CO HOUSE RUB
Toast the fennel, cumin and coriander seeds along with the peppercorns in a dry pan over medium heat for a few minutes, shaking the pan, until the spices release an aroma. Tip into a bowl and leave to cool.
Blitz the toasted spices in a blender to a rough powder. Combine with the sugars, garlic powder, salt, paprika, oregano and cayenne pepper. This will keep in a sealed container for up to 1 week.
COOK THE FEATHERBLADE
Remove your featherblade from the fridge to come to room temperature.
Set your EGG up to cook indirect; ConvEGGtor legs up with a Drip Pan sat on top with a little water inside. Place a Stainless Steel Grid on top, close the lid and leave to reach a target temperature of 120°C.
If you want to increase the smoky flavour, add a few Mesquite Wood Chunks at this point.
Rub the Pitt Cue Co House Rub all over the featherblade and place onto the EGG. Be generous as this will form the base of your bark.
Slow cook the featherblade for 4-5 hours.
Although this isn't stricly necessary, wrapping it in Butcher’s Paper at this point will help to protect the bark in case of any temperature fluctuations. Place back on the EGG cook until the internal temperature reaches 88°C. Depending on the size of your featherblade or fat content this should be another 4 hours or so. Add more water to the Drip Pan if it dries out as this will be the base of your Mother Sauce.
Take the wrapped featherblade off the EGG and wrap in a tea towel to rest for 30-45 minutes. Pour any pan juices into a jug for later.
CREATE THE MOTHER SAUCE
Meanwhile, turn the EGG temperature up to 180˚C. Add the dry-aged beef trim to the dirty pan and brown all over. Add both stocks, as well as the pan juices from earlier, and deglaze the pan. Simmer, skimming the surface continuously, until the liquid has reduced by two-thirds.
Meanwhile, in another pan, sweat the shallots in the butter for about 5-8 minutes, or until soft. Add the madeira, bring to a simmer and reduce the liquid by half.
Add the madeira mixture to the reduced stock and simmer to reduce the liquid by a further quarter, skimming continuously.
Mix together all the remaining ingredients, except the pork dripping, and add to the pan.
Finally, whisk in the pork dripping until combined.
Pass the mixture through a fine sieve before serving with the featherblade.