"beaver tail"? aka flank steak

Discussion in 'Beef' started by cueinco, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. cueinco

    cueinco Smoke Blower

    A friend brought back some "beaver tail" from Minnesota. It was a flank steak that appeared to be marinated, lightly smoked, and perhaps dehydrated. The flavor and texture was great. Kind of like jerky but much much more moist. 

    I see notes for real beaver tail, but obviously that's not what I'm looking for. Has anyone ever made, or even heard of, this cut and process? I really liked it and I'd love to know how to make it. 
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014
  2. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Can't wait to hear from others to weigh in on this subject.

    All I have found is a pastry or recipes for actual beaver tail.

    Seems to be a Canadian thing?

    In Minnesota it might be an actual beaver tail?


    Good luck and good smoking.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2014
  3. cueinco

    cueinco Smoke Blower

    I updated the title to add Flank Steak to make the question a bit clearer. 
  4. cueinco

    cueinco Smoke Blower

    A bit more information. The "beaver tail" that I had was from Miltona Meats  in Miltona MN. I checked the web site, but I don't see smoked flank steak on the list. I'll have to give them a call but some of the varieties of snack sticks, jerky, bacon, and summer sausage sound pretty interesting. 

    Anyone from the Miltona area? I'm wondering if it's a common recipe in those parts? My friends that brought it down to Colorado said that everyone in those parts just calls it beaver tail. I'd love to get a recipe for it and give it a shot at home. 
  5. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'm going to choke on the next flank steak we eat! Thanks🐮
  6. welshrarebit

    welshrarebit Master of the Pit

    That sounds like what we call pipikaula! I don't have a recipe for it but it's basically soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, chilli pepper flakes and cure #1. You could google it and find recipes...

    If you're interesred I can take a pic of some at work tomorrow if I remember! ;)
  7. welshrarebit

    welshrarebit Master of the Pit

    Here's our version...
  8. cueinco

    cueinco Smoke Blower

    Thanks very much for the pictures.  That does look like it. I don't recall it being as red when sliced, but it was a year ago that I had it. 

    I'll have to do some research on pipikaula. Thank you for taking the time to respond. 
  9. welshrarebit

    welshrarebit Master of the Pit

    This is the commercially made variety and has cure in it. That's why it has a red tint.
  10. dingo007

    dingo007 Smoking Fanatic

    Hmm..that looks interesting....I assume it is cooked/hot smoked? Any guess on what IT to shoot for?

    Going to pull a flank out of the freezer right now!
  11. cueinco

    cueinco Smoke Blower

    This is the recipe I was going to try: http://www.ilovehawaiianfoodrecipes.com/recipes/pipi-kaula/

    I was going to merge that recipe with the process defined here: http://www.polynesia.com/pipi-kaula.html#.VLgIqsZIjas

    The beaver tail that I had, while tasting of some smoke, really seemed like it had been dried more than smoked. It also was  well cooked. It was more jerky-isn than a medium-rare flank steak. 

    What I planned on doing was cold smoking using the MES/AMZTS combo for about an hour. I was then going to put it into a low 170 degree oven for the recommended 7 hours or so. I was also going to leave the flank steaks whole. That's why they call it beaver tail. Most of the pipikaula recipes I saw had you slicing the flank steak prior to marinating.  I'd also guess that it was pounded out to flatten it to a more uniform thickness. My guess is that that the I.T. would be up around 165 or so by the time you were done. 

    I haven't used cure on any of my cooks, but I was thinking about using some of the Morton's Tender Quick cure as well. I'm guessing that the folks in MN used cure in the commercially sold version that I had. 

    If anyone has other thoughts on this, I'd love to hear them. 
  12. dingo007

    dingo007 Smoking Fanatic

    That's pretty much the conclusion/method I have arrived at. I'm going to put the cure in the marinade and leave it for 48hrs, then brief cold smoke (1-2 hrs) then low heat. I'm going to monitor the IT, but probably not use it in the decision to stop, rather a combination of IT and feel. I'll be using cure#1. FWIW..this is similar to Biltong, just cooked rather than air dried. I'm also gonna leave the flank whole, as i liked the look of Welshrarebit's pic. Flank defrosting in the sink as we speak.
  13. bluewhisper

    bluewhisper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Proper preparation is essential.

  14. cueinco

    cueinco Smoke Blower

    You're right, the biltong recipe I saw does seem similar. The recipe mentions bill being Dutch for buttock and tong being Dutch for strip. Given that this seems like it is an Africaner  recipe, I'm wondering if the origins are Dutch or German. The reason I ask is that the part of Minnesota where beaver tail is popular, was settled by lots of folks from Germany.  Any idea if there's a German dish that is similar? I've bounced around looking on Google, but haven't come across any dried/smoked flank steak recipes that appear to be German in origin. 
  15. red dog

    red dog Smoking Fanatic

  16. dingo007

    dingo007 Smoking Fanatic

     Interesting.....I have some German family and some friends in South Africa....I'll send a shout out and see what I can learn.
  17. welshrarebit

    welshrarebit Master of the Pit

    You might want to look up Bear's dried beef thread as if I were doing this that is how I would do it!

Share This Page