Grilled Sirloin with Smoked Cauliflower Purée and Roasted Fennel

Grass-fed beef sirloin is marinated with rosemary and garlic, then seared and roasted to medium-rare perfection and served with smokey, creamy cauliflower puree, and crisp roasted fennel. Herbed butter along with shallots cooked in red wine add fat and freshness to the warm flavors of beef and smoke. Finish with a reduction sauce of beef bones, broth, and wine.

Pair with: 2019 EX MARIETTA Syrah


1 top sirloin roast; trimmed and trussed
1 branch rosemary; stripped and roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1 head white cauliflower
2 cups heavy cream
2 1/4 cups water
6 cloves garlic; pounded smooth in mortar and pestle
1 sprig thyme
4 heads fennel
1 lb. unsalted butter; room temperature
1 shallot
5 cups red wine (Christo or Old Vine Red)
One bunch parsley; picked and finely chopped
1 Eureka lemon
2 carrots; peeled and cut into 1” pieces
2 stalks celery; cut into 1” pieces
2 yellow onions; peeled and diced into 1” pieces
3 lb. beef bones
1 gallon gelatinous beef stock
2 bay leaves
black pepper


Marinate roast with rosemary, half the garlic, and olive oil, then season generously with salt and coarse ground black pepper, and leave at room temperature for one to two hours before cooking. Sear on all sides on a grill or in a cast iron pan, then remove to a sheet tray lined with a wire rack. Set into 350° oven and cook until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roast reads between 128° and 132°. Rest 15 minutes before carving.

Discard leaves and the stem end from the cauliflower. Cut the head into small pieces and set aside. Use a heavy-bottomed pot with a tight-fitting lid and perforated insert or steam tray to create a stovetop smoker. Using aluminum foil, create a palm-sized pouch and fill with about a quarter cup of hickory chips. Place the pouch directly on the bottom of the pot, then heat on high until the pouch begins to smoke. Reduce heat to medium-low, then add cauliflower to perforated insert or steam tray and set into the pot above wood chips, covering tightly with the lid for 10-15 minutes or until wood chips appear burned out.

While the cauliflower smokes, heat cream with thyme, garlic, 2 cups water, and a few pinches of salt in a medium-sized pot. When cauliflower is smoke-tinted, add to the cream mixture and simmer until fully tender, then purée until smooth in a blender. If too thin, reduce the purée over low heat until desired consistency is achieved.

Remove tough outer layer from fennel bulbs. Trim root end slightly, then cut fennel into wedges no more than an inch in width. Lay out onto parchment lined sheet tray and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt then roast in a 450° oven until tender and lightly browned, flipping over halfway through the cook time.

Compound Butter
Dice shallot into 1/8” cubes then cook in 2 of cups red wine until the wine is completely cooked away and the shallots are tender. Squeeze shallots in a length of double-lined cheesecloth to remove any excess wine and set aside. Combine shallots with the butter, parsley, pounded garlic, zest and half of the juice from one lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly.

Beef Sauce 
Brown beef bones in a 450° oven until fully browned but not burned. Sauté celery, carrots, and onions over medium low flame until fully tender and lightly caramelized. In a large pot, combine stock, browned beef bones, caramelized vegetables, 3 cups of red wine, and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Let mixture gently simmer for 4 hours, adding water to keep the bones submerged if necessary. After 4 hours, strain broth and reduce until the sauce lightly coats the back of a wooden spoon, skimming as needed. Season with salt.

To Serve:
Place a large spoonful of purée on the plate with a few pieces of roasted fennel and thin slices of sirloin roast. Spread the room temperature compound butter across the sliced beef and spoon the beef sauce over the butter.

Pair with: 2019 EX MARIETTA Syrah

More Spring Recipes:

Casarecce with Wild Mushrooms + 2018 Game Trail Cabernet

Citrus & Spiced-almond Salad + 2020 Román Zinfandel