Smoked Wagyu, Oysters and Greens

Ingredients

  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) sawdust
  • 800 g (1 lb 12 oz) wagyu beef, fat and sinew removed, cut into 8 × 15 cm (3¼ × 6 inch) pieces
  • 10 oysters, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 lemons, juice, to serve
  • fleur de sel, to serve
  • samphire and in-season wild greens, to serve

Pickled Cucumber

  • 300 g (10½ oz) Lebanese (short) cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 2 litres (70 fl oz/8 cups) rice vinegar
  • 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) sugar

Breadcrumbs

  • 200 g (7 oz) artisanal bread, frozen
  • 80 g ( oz) salted butter, plus extra (if needed)

Sauce Verte

  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) thin (pouring) cream
  • 70 g ( oz/1 bunch) sorrel
  • 150 g ( oz/1 bunch) parsley
  • 30 g (1 oz/1 bunch) tarragon
  • olive oil, to emulsify

Method

Preheat a coal-bedded kettle barbecue to low heat and set up for indirect grilling, using the top rack. Add one-quarter of the sawdust around the coals and cook until smoke appears. Place the beef on the top rack and smoke, adding extra sawdust as required, for approximately 4 minutes each side. Remove from the heat, roll the beef in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 hours or until firm enough to slice. Slice thinly and reserve for plating at room temperature.

To make the pickled cucumber, put the sliced cucumber in a large bowl. Put the rice vinegar, sugar and 3 litres (105 fl oz/12 cups) of water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, then pour the pickling liquid over the cucumbers. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until ready to serve.

For the breadcrumbs, blend the frozen bread in a food processor to achieve a medium crumb that retains some texture (not too fine). Heat the butter in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat until it is foaming, then add the breadcrumbs and cook slowly over a low heat, continuously stirring for even colour. Add more butter if the mix becomes dry. Remove the breadcrumbs when toasted and crisp. Allow to cool.

To make the sauce verte, boil the cream until reduced by half and set aside. Blanch the sorrel, parsley and tarragon in boiling water and refresh in iced water. Squeeze dry. Put the herbs in a blender and purée, adding the cream slowly to loosen the mix and follow with the olive oil, adding it gradually to create an emulsion. Pass through a sieve. Season with salt and pepper.

Using a teaspoon, place three small quenelles of sauce verte on each plate. Lightly season the beef slices with a squeeze of lemon and some fleur de sel and place three slices of beef on each plate. Place a morsel of oyster near each piece of meat. Follow with some pickled cucumber. Place 3 half-teaspoons of breadcrumbs on the dish, concentrating the clusters near the edge of the sauce verte. Finish with samphire and other in-season wild greens.