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Slow-cooked Westholme wagyu rump cap, pastrami spices, smashed celeriac & malt pickles

Slow-cooked wagyu rump cap


In this recipe we give outstanding Australian wagyu the French treatment by The rump cap-also known as culotte and picanha-is a versatile cut with deep flavour.

This recipe is really easy but it’s best made over a few days. The malt pickles are so much better if they are made a few days ahead of time, and the rump cap is brined overnight. Brining makes the meat extra tender and flavourful and the pastrami spices bring in the feeling and flavours of low-and-slow barbecuing without an outdoor smoker. The celeriac can be cooked prior to the beef, then reheated to serve with the roasted rump.



Malt pickles

500ml (2 cups) water
500ml (2 cups) malt vinegar
125ml (½ cup) tamari
50g (¼ cup) brown sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1 head black garlic, cut through the equator *
½ bunch thyme
2 small white onions, peeled and cut in wedges
100g (1 cup) wood ear mushrooms

Smashed celeriac

1 large celeriac, trimmed of greens
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground pepper

Wagyu rump cap with pastrami spices

1 x Westholme rump cap / culotte (approx. 1.4kg / 49 oz)
3L (3 QT) water
210g (1 cup) fine table salt
150g (¾ cup) brown sugar
3 dried bay leaves
1 tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp black peppercorns

Spice rub

1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
30g (2 tbsp) brown sugar
50g (3 tbsp) Dijon mustard
⅓ cup coarsely ground coriander seeds
¼ cup coarsely ground black peppercorns


Malt pickles

1. In a saucepan, combine water, malt vinegar, tamari, brown sugar, salt, black garlic,
thyme and onions. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the
heat and allow to cool.
2. Add the mushrooms and cool to room temperature.
3. Once cooled, transfer to an airtight container or sterilised jar and refrigerate.

Smashed celeriac

4. Season the celeriac with some olive oil and sea salt and wrap with foil.
5. Roast in the oven at 180C (360F) for about 2.5 hours until a skewer easily pierces to the centre.
6. Allow to cool out of the oven and then trim away the thick skin.
7. Place the celeriac in a bowl and roughly smash with the back of a fork. Season with olive oil, sea salt and pepper.

Wagyu rump cap with pastrami spices

8. Trim fat off the rump cap so there’s an even layer of approx. 5mm across the top.
9. Combine water and salt in a large container and whisk until the salt is dissolved. Add sugar and spices and whisk until combined.
10. Place rump cap into the brine and cover with lid or clingfilm. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
11. Remove from the brine and pat dry with a paper towel.

Spice rub

12. Preheat oven to 75C (170F) (use a thermometer to check*).
13. Combine the coriander and pepper and mix well. Set aside.
14. Place the rump cap on a tray and rub with garlic and onion powder
15. Sprinkle the brown sugar over and rub into the rump cap.
16. Rub all over with mustard.
17. Cover the rump with the coriander and pepper mix and pat down to form a soft crust, tapping off any excess. Ensure the entire cap is covered evenly. Transfer to a wire rack on top of a tray.
18. Place in preheated oven. Cook for 3 – 4 hours or until the centre of the rump cap reaches 65C (150F).
19. Remove and rest for 20 minutes. Slice across the cut, starting from the thickest part first.
20. Serve beef with smashed celeriac and drained pickles.


– Black garlic is preserved, sweet and mellow. It’s available from speciality food stores.
– All ovens are different and temperature dials are often inaccurate. Oven thermometers are available in kitchen stores and can be a handy addition to your kitchen kit. A meat thermometer is essential for perfectly cooked steak.

Clayton Wells is the chef and co-owner of Sydney’s two-hatted Automata and much-lauded casual diner A1 Canteen. From innovative fine dining at Automata, to all-day eating at the more casual A1 Canteen, Clayton delivers confident, creative and dynamic cooking.

Automata holds two hats in the Good Food Guide 2019 and two stars in Gourmet Traveller’s 2019 Restaurant Guide. A1 Canteen holds one hat in the Good Food Guide 2019 and one star in Gourmet Traveller’s 2019 Restaurant Guide.

Clayton was named Hottest Chef in The Weekend Australian’s Hot 50 in 2016 as well as Time Out’s 2016 Chef of the Year.

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