Thursday, April 01, 2010

Another Thai Beef Salad - Cookbook Challenge - Week 20 - Tangy

I had a rather difficult time coming up with a recipe for this weeks theme of Tangy.  I could easily have made a sweet recipe, a citrusy cake perhaps?  However I didnt have anyone to feed cake to this week & as I've been really good to myself lately & have stuck to 'the rules' I've imposed on myself I didnt want to bake just for the sake of a challenge.  So I set about trying to find a savoury recipe that sounded tangy to me, Thai was the best I could come up with, the lime juice, fish sauce & lemongrass dressing fit the bill even though the chilli might have made this dish more apt for a spicy theme. I also seriously cut down on the quantity of spring onions & shallots & added some lettuce instead as there is only so much onion I can eat in one sitting.

Conflicted as I was, I had no problem eating this dish.  I've recently discovered a great butcher & I swear whenever I cook a meal with his meat it is great, tender & full of flavour, so the simple dressing & bits & pieces of spring onions, shallots, coriander & the like lifted it to a fab weeknight dinner.  By the way, when I'm cooking something like this which Chloe who is only 3 will not eat, even the mildest of chillies hurt her tongue, (dont worry will keep trying her until she is a chilli trooper like the rest of us!), to avoid cooking 2 meals, I just make some veg & salad on the side & give her the meat minus the dressing, she does love a good piece of steak too. 

Anyhow, the recipe comes from Ben O'Donoghue's Ben's Barbecue, a book I recently acquired for free simply by purchasing 6 bottles of Penfolds wine in a recent Safeway promotion, having been known to enjoy the odd drop or two, this posed no problem I can tell you & hey presto, I have yet another cook book.  This is the second recipe I've tried from the book & let me tell you, the first was a major disaster that I did manage to salavage, the recipe for foccacia, the mixture was so soggy it was like soup, I had to add about a ton of flour to achieve a dough & of course by then it was more like bread in the end & didnt in any way resemble what it was supposed to.  On thinking about it but by no means being an expert I think the quantities were out, 1.5 litres of water to 1kg of flour all up, what does everyone else think?  Anyway luckily no 2 was a winner so dont have to toss the book just yet.  Will actually be using it next week for the Thai theme too, funny that I actually made Thai the week before for Tangy & now have to do it again, should really plan ahead a bit better.

Thai Beef Salad - Ben O'Donoghue - Ben's barbecue

Serves 4

2 bunches spring onions, washed, outer leaves removed, roots & tips trimmed
3 red chillies, finely sliced
10 Thai pink shallots, finely sliced
1 bunch coriander, washed & chopped
3 sticks lemongrass, peeled & thinly sliced
400g rump or sirloin steak
salt & freshly ground black pepper
juice of 3 limes
5 tablespoons fish sauce

Finely slice the spring onions on the diagonal and place in a bowl with the chillies, shallots, coriander & lemongrass.

Prepare your barbecue (or grill pan over the stove) for direct grilling  over a high heat.  Season the beef with a good amount of salt & pepper, then cook to your liking.  I prefer a medium-well-done as I think you get a more flavourful salad.  Allow the meat to rest while you dress the salad.

Squeeze the lime juice over the spring onion salad, followed by the fish sauce, then toss to combine.  Slice the meat finely, removing the fat.  Add to the salad & toss to combine, then serve.


Saskia said...

This looks delish, very inspiring blog! said...

Ha ha...think I need to start shopping at your safeway! Good choice for this weeks theme...although as you say it's back to Thai food cooking again for you.

Ange said...

Thanks & I have no problem with Thai food 2 weeks in a row, it's one of my favourite cuisines

April @ My Food Trail said...

That's awesome that you have found a great butcher. I'm still trying to find one for beef as the ones in my area seem to be too expensive. I'll just keep going to Victoria Market until I find one closer to home.

The deal with the cookbook sounds fantastic! I didn't know about it or I would have done that too!

The Thai beef salad sounds yum!

Jo - SecondHelping said...

Can't think of a better way to acquire a cookbook than yours.

I also totally agree with the joys of a great butcher - they can seriously be your best friend.