Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Asian Simmered Beef and an Excellent Trade
My friend Marshall is one of the busiest people I know. Not only is he an amazing talent at the Circus, but he is also in Massage Therapy school full time, meditates daily, and has impeccable taste. His apartment is one of those small, stylish, beautiful places that makes you want to give up everything you own and live there immediately.
Because Marshall is so busy, he doesn't have much time on his hands to cook. This is where I occasionally come in. Last week, Marshall found time on his day off school to give me a much needed and incredibly wonderful massage. Massages are not in my budget. i think I'm about two years away from them even coming close to justifying them. Since I have shoulder problems, one hereditary, one from being hit by a car, massages are blissfully wonderful for me.
I think sometimes that I forget to stop. I keep myself quite busy and I have trouble being still. When I'm at home, I'm almost always doing something. If I give myself down time, I usually make it about 15 minutes before I decide I'm not doing all the things I need to be. This is what is nice about doing something that forces you to be still, that you aren't in your house for, and that gives you the chance to take a break.
So, Marshall found the time to give me a glorious massage and, in return, I made him dinner. Boy was that massage good. Marshall is kind of a rockstar so I really needed to bring it when it came to dinner. It was a great opportunity for me to tweak this recipe for Asian Simmered Beef that I made up on the fly when my Stunt Guy was in town and personally fund quite delicious. This is apparently quite similar to Korean Bulgogi, which I've never actually eaten. With my guy out of town, it's really nice to have someone else to cook for. I'm the kind of person that loves to cook for others and make them happy through food. I'm hoping I can persuade Marshall that we should do this trade again. Soon. How about this Sunday?
Asian Simmered Beef
One of the most important things about this recipe is the cut of beef. I found a great deal on some very thin Chuck Steak. It was pretty perfect. You do want to go with steak here as the beef needs to be nice and tender. The other important thing is giving it time to marinade. You want to leave it at least 30 minutes, more if you can.
1lb Beef Seak, cut into thin strips
1/3 Cup Soy Sauce
1/4 Cup Honey
1 Tablespoon Minced Ginger
1 Tablespoon Miso Paste
A few drops Toasted Sesame Oil (optional)
Several good grinds of black pepper
This really couldn't be a whole lot simpler. Cut your steak into thin strips, trimming out any fat or gristle that you find. In a bowl or container with a lid, mix all the other ingredients together. Use a whisk to make sure everything is really well blended, especially the miso paste. Taste the marinade and if it's too salty, add a little more honey. Tip in the beef and use your hands to squish the beef in the marinade, almost massaging it for a minute or so. Then, let it sit in the fridge for at least half an hour... longer is better. I usually try and let it sit for two to three hours.
When you are close to dinnertime, pour the beef and the remaining marinade into a non stick pan and place over medium heat. Let simmer for ten minutes and then check to see if the beef is as you would like it.
Serve with a stir-fry and rice, or put in a spinach salad, or make it into a wrap. I like it best over brown rice with peppers and carrots, topped with toasted sesame seeds.
Makes two large servings.
This also goes really well with Sesame Green Beans