The use of Earl Grey tea to smoke the meat adds a richness and floral note to the dish. Even if you were not to smoke meat, shrimp, scallops even trout would benefit from this initial procedure.
Tea Smoked Center Cut Rib Eye with Rutabaga Puree and Porcini Mushrooms
1/4 cup white rice
1/4 cup Earl Grey tea leaves
2 tablespoons sugar
Combine rice, tea and sugar in a foil packet. Place in the bottom of the stovetop smoker and place it over high heat.
Center cut portion of rib eye
2 pounds of rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 ounces of butter, chilled and diced
1/2 cup of milk
1 pound of porcini mushrooms, cleaned
2 tablespoons of butter
Extra virgin olive oil
Rub the meat generously with sea salt and set aside while the smoker comes to temperature. Once the smoker is smoking, remove it from the heat and add the meat. Leave the meat in the smoke for 15 minutes and then transfer it to a large plate and cover loosely with foil.
Place the rutabaga in a small pot with a tablespoon of salt and enough water to generously cover the vegetables and set over high heat. Once the water comes to a boil, simmer the vegetables until tender. While the rutabaga is cooking, warm the milk in a small pan to just under a boil. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the rutabaga to the blender and add the cold butter. Blend until the butter is incorporated. Add the warm milk in small increments until the pure is smooth and creamy. Check seasoning and ad salt if needed. Strain the puree through a fine chinois and keep warm in a small pot.
Heat a heavy sauté pan and add olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is beginning to smoke, add the rib eye and sear on all sides. Remove to a warm platter, cover with foil and let rest.
Slice the porcinis in half. Place large sauté pan over high heat and add 1 tablespoon of butter and one tablespoon of olive oil. Once the fat is hot and moving rapidly in the bottom of the pan, sauté the mushrooms until golden brown on both sides. Season with salt. Add the thyme stems and remaining butter and baste well. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and drain on paper towels.
Slice the meat into eight pieces and arrange on plates with the rutabaga puree and porcini mushrooms. Serve.