If there is one dish that literally talks the nose to tail approach it is Executive Chef Dany Karam’s Bone Marrow and Oxtail Salad at steakhouse Black Bar & Grill at The Star, in Sydney. Karam orders whole beasts for his menu, using a selection of whole cuts from the animals, both grass and grain-fed, from Rangers Valley Angus to Blackmore’s Wagyu or the new Torello Rosé Veal.
“When I design my menu, I always go from head to tail to start with,” he says. “While we can’t use every single cut from the animal, we try to do as much as we can.”
Alongside the Bone Marrow and Oxtail Salad, he has Braised Beef Cheek on the menu, with a horseradish risotto, alongside 12 different cuts of meat, from the shoulder with the oyster blade, broken down to a flat iron, then moving along to the ribs with rib-eye steak and scotch or cube roll.
“It’s not all about fillet. As tender as it is, there is not much flavour there,” he says. “It’s not a working muscle.”
With a cut like flank, he says he may have to explain to patrons that there is a bit more chew in the steak, but that’s where all the incredible flavour is. “That’s my favourite cut,” he says.
Steaks are treated with a cold smoke, to warm them up “like a sauna”, over cherry wood which brings it to room temperature, while it absorbs a little of the sweetness of the cherry wood. Then high heat is applied to the steak over ironbark.
Striploin on the bone and ribs get the dry-aged treatment to get even more flavour out of them. Ox tongue, oxtail and marrow are also on the regular specials menu in dishes such as an Oxtail Ravioli or the afore-mentioned Oxtail and Bone Marrow Salad. The bone marrow is roasted on the bone in the charcoal oven, combined with duck fat potatoes, oxtail lightly Bone Marrow and Oxtail Salad in chicken stock, watercress and smoked bacon, smoked speck and caramelised onion.
“We don’t add a lot of aromatic flavour, we don’t want to cover the flavour of the meat.”
He sees the industry catering for shorter dinners, smaller portions of proteins but with a focus on local produce, provenance provided.