Monday, September 27, 2010

Beef Satay

This summer, even into fall here in Virginia, has been hot and muggy day after day, ending in the kind of evenings meant to be spent in wet bathing suits. I have said too many times that we've had more summer this past two months than the past six seasons combined, but it is true.

And so it is that our tastes have strayed towards Asia, over and over. The kind of meals you can cook in the morning when it is still cool, and eat at room temperature when it suits. The kind of crisp, clean tastes that take well to seasonal produce, and local meats. The New York Times dining section, which we peruse each Wednesday for ideas, is similarly inclined towards Tamari and ginger this summer, giving us credence.

This recipe, though, is one we love from Mr. Steven Raichlen, a man among men, according to my men friends, who has elevated BBQ to an actual art. Combine his marinade with the marinating machine (though, as usual, I assure you that a plastic bag will work just as handily) and you have perfection.

Singapore Beef Satay
adapted from Steven Raichlen

1.5 lbs rib-eye steak, 1/2 inch thick, cut into 1/2 inch cubes, including the fat
3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
2 Tablespoons ground coriander
1 Tablespoon tumeric
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
3 Tablespoons fish sauce or tamari
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil

Place meat in a mixing bowl and stir in the sugar, coriander, tumeric, cumin, pepper, fish sauce and oil. Marinate the beef for 20 minutes in marinator or 2 to 12 hours in the fridge.

Drain the cubes of beef and discard marinade. Thread the beef onto bamboo skewers that have been soaked in water for 10 minutes. Leave the bottom half of each skewer bare for a handle and 1/4 inch exposed at the pointed end. Alternate between one piece of lean beef and one piece of fatty beef for the best flavor.

Prepare a gas or charcoal grill. Over high heat, brush the grates with oil. Fold aluminum foil by thirds like a letter and place over the grill as a rest for the exposed skewer ends, so they do not burn. Grill the sates until cooked to taste, about 2 minutes a side for medium.

Serve with cucumber relish, and rice dotted with toasted coconut. Enjoy!

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