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Monday, 26 August 2013

South East Asian Fillet of Beef

Last week my sister Gilli and I went out on another shopping trip to Auburn. So many delights to be tried and goodies to bring home. The different foods on offer are fabulous as they cater to the multi cultural inhabitants of the area. Indian, Nepalese,Turkish, Lebanese and Korean.
Really helpful shop keepers and all so cheap compared to what we pay normally.
I am planning some day shopping and eating expeditions to the area, so keep looking, coming soon.! Purchases from my trip inspired me to do this easy family dish, that I used to teach in my cooking classes. A different slant on the old roast beef and with a side of spicy red lentils, some mint flavoured yoghurt and nann, you are transported to world of asian cuisine.
If you wish you could change the red lentils for some spicy roast potatoes. Or alternatively you could just serve with some Basmati rice and a dollop of a great chutney. I bought a sweet lime one from the Indian supermarket that sold so many different varieties.
I asked the young man working there what was his favourite, as I was having trouble choosing. His reply with a laugh was "Mango". I decided to be a little more adventurous !

1 fillet of beef, rump or topside. Approx 2 kilos will feed six.

olive oil
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger or a 5cm piece finely chopped
2 chopped shallots
1 red chilli, finely chopped or 1 teaspoon minced chill
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
small handful finely chopped fresh coriander
half stick finely chopped lemongrass or 2 teaspoons minced lemongrass
juice of a fresh lime

Preheat oven to 180 C
Sear the piece of beef in the roasting pan you are going to use on top of the stove, in the olive oil.
Mix the chopped garlic, ginger, coriander, shallots and chilli into the soy sauce. Pour over the beef. Next pour the coconut milk, lime juice, lemongrass and extra coriander if desired.
Cook the beef for 40 minutes which will still have it pink inside. If you wish to cook it longer cover the pan with foil.. When cooked remove from the pan and set aside to rest.
Add a little more coconut milk to the pan to thicken the juices and make a gravy.
Slice and serve on a bed of lentils with accompaniments.

Beef served on a bed of red lentils with basmati rice and minted yoghurt

Discovered this organic fresh lime juice, a great alternative if you have no fresh limes on hand.
My choice from the  huge array of chutneys and pickles at the Indian Grocery in Auburn
 Rajasthani Sweet Lime Pickle.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Braised Beef Short Ribs

I have been swanning up and down the coast the last 2 weeks with my friend Louise and whilst we have made some fabulous food, I have neglected to photograph it or write about it. Apologies to all, I think with the weather being so beautiful I was lulled into thinking I was on Xmas holidays or something.
This dish is so yummy and gets many many comments of high praise. It is not me, however but the slow cook in the Asian master stock. Kylie Kwong and Neil Perry are masters of these beautiful stocks and it is this that makes the meat so delicious. The cheaper cuts of meat lend themselves very well to the long slow cook. I have done this with beef brisket, pork neck, and beef cheek.
The beef ribs are available at any good butcher, however you may have to ask for them to be cut. Asian butchers have them all the time and as is always the way, they are half the price.
Start this the day before. All the work is done leaving more time to chat to your dinner guests.
There is a lot of fat on them so trim them as much as you can, before cooking them.
After they have cooked slowly for around 3 hours let them cool. Then trim as much fat from them as you can, strain the stock and place them back into the stock for heating at serving time.
It seems like a lot of work, but it is well worth it and you have less work on the night.
I cooked for 10 and used approximately 5 kilos of ribs.

The following is for 1.5 kilos beef short ribs, just increase the spices and flour, and cover with more stock and shao xing wine

1 tablespoons ground fennel
1tablespoons ground coriander
1 tablespoons smokey paprika
1-2 tablespoons chilli powder
4 tablespoons plain flour
2 cups chicken stock plus 3 extra cups water
1 cup shao xing wine
1/2 cup light soy
4 cloves garlic roughly chopped
1 onion roughly chopped
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 cup rock sugar
1 star anise
2 good pieces dried manadarin or orange peel
4 chopped shallots

Mix the fennel, coriander paprika and chilli powder together with the flour.
Spray the ribs lightly with oil and coat them in the spices and flour mixture. The easiest way to do this is to place them in a plastic bag with the flour and spice mix and shake it around
Heat a couple of tablespoons olive oil in a heavy casserole pot. Brown the ribs on all sides and remove from the pot.
Lightly fry the garlic and onion in the pot and scrape up any remnants of the spices.
Add the stock, shao xing wine, soy sauce, cinnamon stick, mandarin peel, rock sugar star anise and chopped shallots and bring to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes to infuse the flavours.
Place the ribs into the simmering stock and cover. Braise for 2 1/2 hours -3 hours. If some of the ribs are small they will break up and the meat will come away from the bone.
Follow the instructions above, removing the fat when cool and removing the meat from the bone and keeping in large chunks if possible. I then place them in a shallow baking dish and cover with the strained stock and cover the pan with foil so they gently reheat. If you bring them to the boil in a fast moving stock they may really fall to pieces.
I served them on a bed of creamed mash with some of the stock poured over with some garlic beans and french shallots sautéed in shao xing wine and rock sugar till caramelised.