Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Recipe: Orange Beef and Rice with Sausteamed Vegetable Medley

So here’s what I had last night. No photos – didn’t know it would be an instant classic. Next time, I’ll grab some pics and retrofit the post. (Tonight it’s hot dogs and baked beans!)

See, Cathy’s away, so what’s a good boy to do but try to eat down the freezer a bit. Seems we had this half a hunk of N.Y. Sirloin from a couple of months ago, and half a jug of orange juice from niece Jessica’s visit a couple of weeks ago; surely something good could come of it . . . And it did . . .

Here’s what you’ll need:

fresh thyme leaves ½ tsp. (if you don’t have fresh available, try a pinch of dried and a pinch of dried oregano – about ¼ tsp. total)
ground ginger ½ tsp. (if you have fresh, grate about 1 tsp.)
ground turmeric 1/3 tsp. (be careful with this stuff – it will dye the world indelibly yellow!)
anise seed ¼ tsp. (if you have fennel seed instead, use about 1/3 tsp. If you only have ground of either one, use half as much)
ground allspice 1/3 tsp.
Tellicherry (well, tons, of course and only freshly ground!)
Sriracha ½ tsp.
Worcestershire sauce 2 – 3 Tbsp.
soy sauce 2 – 3 Tbsp.
orange juice ½ cup (real, not from concentrate, squeeze your own if you can, pulpy or not as you like)
white wine 3 Tbsp.
sesame oil 1 tsp. for marinade, another for rice
N.Y. Sirloin steak (or your other favorite cut of grillable, ‘I can’t afford Filet Mignon anymore’ steak. This cut is also known as Shell Sirloin in some parts of the US.)
veggies for the medley – carrots, onions, baby bella mushrooms (or just the usual button ones), zucchini, summer squash, broccoli, tomato chunks (doused in Tiparos fish sauce) (and/or, whatever veggies you’ve got!)
white rice
Maggi sauce (it’s Italian, but you’ll find it at the Asian market near you)
corn starch 1 tsp. stirred into ½ cup water

Here’s how you do it.

Mix all that marinade stuff at the top of the list and let it sit for 15 or 20 minutes so all those tastes can get to know each other. You’ll have about 1 to 1 ¼ cups when you’re done

Now my steak was frozen, and I didn’t plan ahead, so I just poured the marinade right into the baggie with the frozen steak (about ½ lb.), zipped it up again and left the baggie in a bowl (in case it leaked) on the counter for about 2 ½ hours. If your steak is fresh, let it marinate for at least an hour at room temperature; more is better, overnight is probably a good idea – but for heaven’s sake, overnight it in the refrigerator!

Chop the veggies into bite sized chunks. Douse the tomatoes (on a separate plate, please) with Tiparos fish sauce. In fact, anytime you’re going to cook tomatoes to go with a tangy meal, give ‘em a good slug of Tiparos. Wonderful stuff. . .

And start the rice. Before you bring it to a boil, give the water about four or five shakes of Maggi sauce (through the bottle tip that you cleverly snipped off when you bought it) as well as a goodly squirt of sesame oil. Remember, 2 cups of water, 1 cup of rice, hey check out Recipe: Perfect Rice . . .

The rice will take 30 minutes (but will happily survive up to an hour). The veggies will need 10 minutes of ‘paying attention’ time and then another 7 – 10 minutes to finish. And the steak will take about 5 minutes on the ‘beauty side’ and another 4 or 5 on the other, and then it simply must sit for at least 5 minutes before you cut it – 10 would be better. To turn the marinade into table sauce will take about 10 minutes.

So here’s how I timed it.

Start the rice. When the water boils, dump in the rice.
Light the grill (for a 10 minute pre-heat).
When the grill is hot, put a saucepan on medium heat and add a tablespoon or four of olive oil.
Put the steak on the grill.
Add the carrots to the hot saucepan and cook, stirring often, for about 3 – 5 minutes. You’re looking for the beginnings of brown.
Pour the remaining marinade into a small skillet over medium low heat
Add the onions to the veggies, stir, toss reduce heat a bit.
After the steak has been on a total of 5 minutes, turn the steak.
After the onions have cooked for about 2 minutes (getting translucent), add the mushrooms, stir, toss frequently.
When the steak is done (about 4 minutes on second side), bring it in to rest.
Add remaining veggies to saucepan, splash with white wine if you wish, cover pan and reduce heat to low.
If marinade is not simmering seriously, raise heat. Reduce marinade by half.
Fluff rice into serving bowl.
Slice meat on an angle (to make your slices wider) into thin slices (across grain). If meat has cooled too much, or is not cooked quite enough, toss it into the sauce for 20 – 30 seconds (no more than a minute!!)
If meat is in sauce, remove it, then thicken sauce with cornstarch (1 tsp. at a time!)
Serve veggies to serving bowl.
Put it on the table, sit, eat. Go “Ahhhhhhh . . . “

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