‘Boeuf Noir’ is a new way to enjoy cooked steaks with charcoal.
If Chef Tony Biggs’ latest creation hit the plate of unsuspecting patrons in many restaurants, chances are it would be sent back without even taking a bite. But this shock factor is just want the culinary firebrand wants.
Through his world travels and international culinary connections, Chef Tony stumbled upon bamboo charcoal powder, which, while rarely used in American cuisine, has a history of use in Asia. And its effects? Shocking – or, at the very least, surprising.
Put a knife to Chef Tony’s “boeuf noir,” which, to the untrained eye, may resembe an actual charcoal briquette, and you’ll find a perfectly cooked, medium rare-to-medium piece of meat. Oh, and that charred crust? It’s as savory and delicious as any steak you’ve ever tried.
The food-grade, ultra-fine powder was, most famously used by Japanese Burger King restaurants to make its Halloween-inspired black hamburger buns. Given that it’s flavorless and finely textured to an almost-microscopic level, bamboo charcoal powder can turn just about any food item it touches to jet black without changing the taste.
If you plan to play around with charcoal powder, Chef Tony says, it’s best not to wear anything white – and use gloves.
Sure, you can make pastry items like burger buns with it, but Chef Tony has taken it to the next level by adding the powder to his steak rub, which is mostly comprised of salt, pepper and a secret blend of other spices.
Regardless of what’s in the mix, the bamboo charcoal powder takes over, if only from a pigmentation perspective. The result is a steak with eye-catching visual contrast, from its deep, inky crust to its juicy pink interior.