Monday, March 19, 2012

Another version of Shaking Beef

I made a beef recipe tonight from the April issue of Food & Wine that is a classic Vietnamese dish called Shaking Beef. It's called Shaking Beef because you shake the pan when cooking it. Here's the link This version is by Marcia Kiesel.

The Slanted Door in San Francisco does a very famous version. I have not had it there but had a wonderful Slanted Beef dish at Sushi Ran in Sausalito, CA. I did see a recipe online from the Slanted Door for Shaking Beef and it was different. I guess this is one of those dishes that depends on who's cooking it.

I could not find 5 spice powder in my spice drawer. I think I must have thrown it out because I thought it was getting too old and hadn't used it in so long. I had bought lemongrass as per the recipe for the vinaigrette but somehow it was not there either. I think it got thrown away by mistake. I went online and found substitutions for both. Here's the link for the lemongrass substitution I got the ingredients of 5 spice powder from Wikipedia. I love the Internet!

Shaking Beef my way

3 garlic cloves, peeled, cored and pressed
1 1/2 tablespoons sherry
1 1/2  tablespoons soy sauce
sprinkle of sugar
freshly ground black pepper
pinch of ground cloves, ground cinnamon, freshly ground pepper (I didn't have Sichuan pepper), ~1/8 teaspoon fennel seeds and star anise
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for cooking the meat
~3/4 pound filet mignon, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch cubes

1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sherry
1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
~1/2 inch of small knob of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon sugar
1 garlic clove, peeled, cored and pressed
~1/4 of juicy lime, squeezed
small sprig of mint, leaves finely chopped
~4 ounces watercress, rinsed, dried and some of the stems pulled off
~2 cups shredded red and green cabbage and shredded carrots slaw
1/4 small red onion, very thinly sliced

Using a mortar and pestle crush and grind the fennel seeds and star anise together. In a baking dish, combine the garlic, sherry, soy sauce, sugar, pepper and spices with the the oil. Add the beef and turn to coat thoroughly with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce with the vegetable oil, sherry, red wine vinegar, minced ginger, sugar, garlic, lime and mint. Let stand for 30 minutes, stirring a few times.

Mix the watercress, slaw and red onion together in a large bowl. Toss with half of the vinaigrette. Set 2 skillets over high heat until very hot, about 2 minutes. Add ~1/2 tablespoon or less of oil to each skillet; when shimmering, add the meat to both skillets in an even layer. Do not overcrowd. Let cook undisturbed, until richly browned on the bottom, about 1 1/2 minutes. Shake the skillet to release the meat, turn pieces over if necessary and cook for about 30 seconds longer, until medium-rare. Using a slotted spoon or spatula remove the beef from the pan and add to the bowl. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette, toss and serve right away.

This dish smelled wonderful cooking and was very quick to cook. The only part that takes time is the marinating so start the day before or early in the day. It was interesting to have to make 2 substitutions in 1 recipe but having the Internet made it very easy and the end result was delicious. Mike and I ate out over the weekend so I kept it light by adding the slaw to the watercress and not serving anything else. I kept thinking though that gyoza or something like spring rolls would be a good way to round out this meal. Either way it was yummy and satisfying. And of course I forgot to take pictures again-sorry. Enjoy!

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