Come Dine With Me - Lomo al Trapo

This is, by far, the strangest thing I've ever made but it's probably one of the tastiest meals I've ever had.  Put it this way, I would go to a restaurant just to order this specific dish. I'm telling you, this is amazing!

Lomo al Trapo = Beef in a burned towel. You literally cook it in a towel (or an old Fruit of the Loom t-shirt) on top of a bed of coals.

Ash has been talking about this all week and we finally made his dream come true last night. Apparently this is a popular Colombian dish and I was a little hesitant given the strange name but I love a good steak, so, why not give it a shot? We even specifically went off and bought a brand new grill just to try this out ... that's how committed we were to this.

I followed the recipe off of Nibble Me This and it was great. Down below I added a couple changes that I would try for next time but that's about it.

I copied and pasted the directions from Nibble Me This but all photos are from my entire process. Try this and then tell me what you think!

The first step is finding a suitable 16" square cloth to use. Keep in mind that this will be destroyed in the process. You want something linen like a tea towel or rolling cloth.

Wet the cloth, lightly wring it out, and lay it flat. Top it with 1/4 inch thick of coarse kosher salt. Yes, that will be a hell of a lot of salt, half a box or more. This and the cloth are going to be your protective barrier.

Now place your seasonings on top of the salt. I used fresh oregano, garlic, cilantro, and black peppercorns.

Place a 12" piece of trimmed beef tenderloin at the center of one edge. 

Roll the tenderloin up in the towel. Secure the ends with cooking twine and one or two places in the middle as well. 

Get a full bed of coals, I only put a small amount of lump coal, barely up to the airholes on the fire box. I fired it up and brought the temp to 350f. I stirred the coals twice during the preheating to make sure all of them got lit so I had a somewhat even bed of coals.

Now it is as simple as placing the bundle directly on top of the coals for 9 minutes. It will start to smolder a bit, don't worry. Listen to your inner-caveman. Go draw stick figures of your successful hunt on your walls.

After 9 minutes, flip and let it go 8 more minutes. Don't be alarmed, it will be stiff and the towel will be burned.

Remove and let it cool off for 2 minutes.

Sometimes you have to crack the salt shell off but for Ash and I, it started to fall off while grilling. My tips for that part are down below. 

Then you just brush off any leftover bits of salt with a basting brush and let rest for 5-10 minutes.

And tada ....

This is one of the best steaks I have ever had, hands down! 

My suggestions: Parts of the steak ended up being just a little too salty. Next time, instead of using just half of my Fruit of the Loom shirt, I'll use the whole thing. I'd have the first layer be just the salt, then I'd put the other half of the shirt on top of that and then put my normal seasonings on that layer. Then I'd lay my steak on top and wrap it up. 
Also another suggestion that we found online ... don't allow the steak to sit in the salt for a long period of time. Make sure to cook it as soon as your done preparing it. Otherwise the salt can draw out the juices.

If you make this, please let me know how you like it! 


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