During Meatopia X we were fortunate to be positioned right next to a wood fired oven. It was not intended to be used. The ovens on site were there because of a pizza event earlier that week as part of the NYC Wine and Food and Fesitval. But when you are next to a wood fired oven, how can you not fire it up? We set about fighting the blustery winds on the roof of Pier 92. We got the oven hot and cooking consistently.
Our original (improvisational) plan was to use the oven to heat our flavored fat. To prepare the steaks we cold smoked them sand then cooked them at 54°C in tallow for 3 hours. Then we seasoned the meat with our beef seasoning from Ideas in Food. To finish the meat we would sear it on a grill and then dip them in flavored fat: tallow, lard, brown butter, olive oil, onions, garlic, shallots and smoked paprika.
As we prepared to cook for 1000's we played around searing a steak on the oven floor. It worked out wonderfully. The beef seasoning from Ideas in Food caramelized and the meat browned. The steak was delicious. But we were here to grill meat. Fate chose a different path. Early on, we refueled our grill, and then the wind struck and our heat source rapidly lost the power to sear. So we improvised and started cooking 4 steaks at a time in the mouth of the wood oven. We didn't miss a beat as the grill regained it's heat and used both fires to finish cooking our smoked strip steaks.