Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Rosie Recreates A Beef Satay And Makes A Sweet Lime Slaw

I was watching either Food Channel or Food Network the other day and listened to a description of a meal that sounded rather interesting to me. The meat was a marinated beef satay and it was served with a sweet lime salad and a curry puff, which is a savory pastry filled with potatoes and veggies. I'm saving the curry puff for another time, but I will be making the kabobs and a lime slaw today. No directions or ingredients were given for the sweet lime salad, and I didn't get a good look at the salad, so I have no idea what went in aside from lime and sugar. Therefore, I'll be making the salad up as I go along. You can come along for the ride.
Ingredients for Rosie's Sweet Lime Slaw: 1/2 head small cabbage, shredded 1 tomatillo, peeled and finely chopped 1 1/2 inch cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped 1 kiwi, peeled, chopped 1 scallion, sliced 1 small sweet red pepper, chopped 1 jalapeno, minced 1 garlic clove, minced Mix all ingredients together. Ingredients for the dressing: juice of 2 limes (1/2 cup) 2 TB rice vinegar 3 TB sugar 1 TB honey 1/2 tsp sesame oil freshly ground salt and pepper pinch cayenne 3/4 cup canola oil 2 TB sesame seeds, toasted Combine first seven ingredients then slowly drizzle in canola oil, whisking to emulsify. Add in toasted sesame seeds. The toasting enhances the flavor of the nut.
Taste test. Always taste as you layer flavors.
I shredded my cabbage.
Peeled a tomatillo. I happen to have tomatillos out the wazoo now, so I try to incorporate them as much as I can.
Fine chop the tomatillo and add to cabbage.
Nice dice of cucumber joins the party.
Kiwi and scallion in.
Red pepper.
Jalapeno and garlic action. Toss all together.
Add toasted sesame seeds to the dressing.
Pour dressing over slaw, toss, cover, and refrigerate.
On to the beef satay. This was interesting because I learned something. When the host on whatever program I was watching described the meat, he referred to the cut, or actual muscle, as the "teres major." This intrigued me:
"The teres major is a seldom used muscle in the shoulder that is second only to the tenderloin filet in tenderness. This muscle requires skilled craftsman to extract, but yields a wonderful dining experience and is a new leader in trendy white table cloth restaurants. The teres major steak is also referred to as a shoulder tender. If sliced into medallions, they are appropriately named petite tender medallions." Not that I give a crap about "trendy white table cloth restaurants." Anyways, to make a short story long, I called Food Lion's meat department to inquire about this particular cut. Food Lion doesn't get the whole hog, or cow, so to speak; they get it cut already. But if I can get a flat iron steak, which has only become available to me in the past few years, then why can't I get the teres major cut? Both come from the shoulder of the cow. Undaunted, Rosie called the Teeter and talked to Nick in the butcher department. No, he didn't have that particular cut, but wait, let him look something up. Nick cross-referenced and it turned out he did indeed have the teres major. It's called a mock tender.
This is the teres major cut, also called beef chuck tender steak.
I checked out the meats at Food Lion and found yet another new, to me, cut. It's called the Denver Steak, and it's cut from the top of the chuck.
"The Denver Steak is another hidden gem uncovered as a result of the checkoff-funded muscle profiling project, which has revealed several other undervalued beef cuts including the Petite Tender, the Ranch Steak and the ever popular Flat Iron Steak. These under-utilized beef muscles are being marketed for their exceptional attributes which enhance the eating experience. The Denver Steak, found in the Chuck Roll, is no exception. Being cut from the fourth most tender muscle in the carcass, it is generously marbled, juicy and tender. It offers great beef flavor and versatility. The Denver Steak provides consistent, reliable results whether served as a center-of-the-plate entree, sliced into strips for a savory stir-fry or cut into cubes for kabobs." Now I'm wondering which cut would rank at #3 in tenderness.
No time like the present to compare the Denver cut and the teres major with the real deal, vacuum packed from March 09. Tenderloin on left. Teres major in middle. Denver cut on right. Remember I'm trying to recreate a dish I only heard about. The host gave no ingredients for the sweet lime salad, but he did give ingredients, but no measurements, for the beef satay, which includes a marinade and a sauce.
Ingredients for the marinade: 1/4 cup canola oil 3/4 cup honey 1/2 soy sauce 1 TB chili flakes 1 TB turmeric
Pretty marinade. Let me tell you something about turmeric. It doesn't get along with me at all. After preparing the marinade, I looked down at my favorite T shirt - the one I got at Saloon #10, in Deadwood, South Dakota, where Wild Bill Hickock was shot. My white T shirt was horribly stained with turmeric. And turmeric does not wash out.
I cut the meat into 1-inch cubes. Tenderloin on the left. Teres major in center. Denver cut on right.
Pour the marinade over the kabobs.
I marinated this overnight, turning the skewers occasionally. On to the sauce and all I have to go on is tamarind, sweet soy sauce, brown sugar, black pepper, and garlic and that it was caramelized.
Sauce ingredients: 6 tamarind pods, prepared and mashed through a sieve with enough tamarind likker for 3/4 cup 1/4 cup soy sauce 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup Mirin 1 TB honey 1 teaspoon black pepper 4 cloves garlic, minced 2 TB butter
To prepare the tamarinds:
De-pod the tamarind and pull the fibrous strings off.
Put the tamarind pulp in a bowl ...
... and pour boiling water over top. Cover and leave for at least an hour to steep.
Remove the seeds.
Mash the pulp through a fine sieve. Add a little of the tamarind likker until you have 3/4 cup of pulp and likker.
Add 1/4 cup brown sugar to the tamarind mix.
1/4 cup soy sauce.
1/4 cup Mirin.
Finely mince 4 garlic cloves.
Add in the garlic.
A tablespoon of honey.
A couple of tablespoons of butter. Tablespoon of honey.
I decided to add in 1/4 cup sugar for good measure.
Stir to mix and dissolve the sugar.
I want to reduce this sauce. When reducing a sauce, it can go south in a heart beat, if you don't watch it carefully. That's why I use a diffuser. I set my pan of sauce in a cast iron skillet and keep the heat on way low. You want to barely simmer until the sauce is reduced and thickened.
I heated canola oil in the pan, medium high heat, and placed the skewers in.
Saute and brown all sides.
I poured the reduced tamarind sauce over top steamed Jasmine rice and the beef cubes.
I liked the flavors here. You have the earthiness of the tamarind with a slight sweetness and heat in the beef. The caramelized tamarind sauce added another dimension of flavor - bittersweet and almost plum-like. The brightness, tartness, and citrus greenery was a refreshing foil to the robust beef. As for the beef cuts, the tenderloin, of course, was the most tender, followed by the teres major, then the Denver cut. I think the teres major would be excellent for stir frying. It has a great flavor and would be quite tender if sliced thinly and quickly sauteed over high heat. For the price of $4.99/pound, I could live with the teres major. It would be terrific grilled too. The Denver cut, I believe, would be more suited to a slow-cooking method in the crockpot or braised in the oven.


Marilyn said...

The beef satay looks good.

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Anonymous said...

I'm relieved no pork was harmed in any way. I'm hungry now

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Unfortunate for the tamarind,rice, and cabbage.

zzzadig said...

Thai pepper in the salad would be braver.......... :-O

just sayin