Salted Five Spiced Sirloin with Turmeric Potatoes & Thai Shallot Gravy

Salted Five Spiced Sirloin with Turmeric Potatoes & Thai Shallot GravyAhrrr steak, steak, steak!  Aside from winning the lottery I can think of no better way to bring in the New Year. I know that I should probably be on a health spree after the recent Christmas break, but fuck that! I like steak, so I’m eating my way into 2014 in style.

Now it’s important to pick the right cut of meat when putting a dish together. I already know that I want a tender, succulent cut to accompany the rest of the dish. Now if you don’t have much knowledge of an animal you may find this part tricky, although these days the most popular cuts of meat are generally known. However there are so many cuts of beef to choose from, 18 common ones to be precise. Now I’m sure we both don’t have the time, or the patience for me to discuss every cut in this one post, but no worries if you continue to read ‘Articuleat‘, it’ will continue to teach.

For this dish I wanted a cut of beef that I could pan fry and finish in the oven, as my hunger did not allow me the luxury of time. This leaves me three ideal choices of meat to use; fillet, rump and sirloin. Now if I could afford it I would have them all on the same plate for three meals a day, everyday. However since I’m not rich and don’t plan on becoming a fat bastard until I’m at least 30, I need to pick one? The tenderest of all beef cuts is the fillet. Taken from underneath the sirloin section of the backbone, it gets almost no exercise, making it tender and flavoursome. Despite this I have chosen sirloin for this dish, just for personal preference.

The sirloin is a very tender joint located between the fore rib and the rump on the back of the carcass. When sold as a joint it may be either on the bone, or boned and rolled, with, or without the fillet. It can be sliced into steaks which are most commonly known as entrecote, sirloin and T-bone. This is cut across the sirloin and includes the bone and the larger porterhouse, which includes both sirloin and rib. This is a prime cut for roasting or grilling.

So anyway that’s your butchery lesson for the day, on to the rest of the dish. I love making five spice, although I use a few extra spices in my recipe, I suppose I should probably call it seven spice really? Oh well, math’s never was never my stronghold.

It’s a great product to make as it can either be toasted and spice ground to a powder, ideal for seasonings and sauces. Or the spices can be placed whole into sauces, gravies and soups. This delicate blend of spices is a perfect accompaniment to a sirloin steak. It has a light aromatic flavour when infused into the gravy; this contributes to the flavour of the steak, rather than overpowering it. A few of my spices are a little hard to get hold of in normal supermarkets so don’t worry too much; If you can’t find them all, I’m sure it will still taste great no matter what. If you are committed enough to find the spices most good oriental supermarkets, or spice shops will have them, or something similar- happy hunting. For this recipe I have ground some of the spices to coat the meat and the rest are infused into the gravy. Along with the natural sweetness of the Thai shallots the gravy is light and thin, more of an aromatic broth than a gravy.

Now for the potatoes I have a few things going on. Firstly I’ve made a paste using coriander root, garlic, Thai shallots and fresh red turmeric (any excuse to get the pestle and mortar out). This is then all pounded to a paste and fried until fragrant with the potatoes after they have been cooked (otherwise the paste will burn before the potatoes have been sautéed enough). The inclusion of red turmeric is for colour, rather than taste, although it does have a slight musky, bitter flavour. Fresh turmeric, like ginger is known as a rhizome (a thick underground stem, or root). Be careful when using as it stains your hands a yellow/orange colour. I’ve made this mistake a few times and ended up having to go out in public looking like some kind of umpa-lumpa, funny but not cool.

Anyway I wish you all a great new year and I’m looking forward to seeing what 2014 has to offer. This dish was a hell of a start so onwards and upwards. Thanks for giving me a read and I’ll see you soon.

Ingredients

– 100g, whole Thai shallots, peeled

-450g, beef sirloin, fat & skin removed and rolled into large sausage shape using cling film)

-1 1/2 tbspn, whole white peppercorns, toasted & 1/2 tbspn spice ground coarsely.

– A good glug of Kecap Manis, Indonesian sweet soy

– Olive oil, for frying

– 2 potatoes, peeled and evenly diced into 1cm by 1cm cubes (I prefer Maris piper for frying)

-2 Pik Kwan (Thai peppercorn), toasted & 1 spice ground to powder

-2tspn coriander seeds, toasted & bruised

-1/2 tspn cumin, toasted, 1/4 tspn spice ground to powder

– 2 star anise, toasted & 1 spice ground to powder

– 2 bay leaves, toasted & 1 spice ground to powder

-2 pieces, cassia bark, toasted & 1 spice ground to powder

-2, bird’s eye chillies

-2tbspn, red turmeric, peeled

-3 cloves garlic, peeled

-2tspn coriander roots, roughly chopped

-30g coriander leaves, washed and picked

-Malden sea salt

-20g, unsalted butter

-400ml, beef stock

-1tbspn, sesame oil

-2tbspn, oyster sauce

Method (serves 2 with spare five/seven spice)

1. Firstly combine the powdered star anise, cassia bark, bay leaves, Pik Kwan, white peppercorns and 1tbspn of the bruised coriander seeds. The rest of the whole toasted spices can be tied in some muslin to be used later in the gravy as a kind of bouquet garni.

2.  Next take the sirloin out of the fridge and coat in a little oil, Kecap Manis and a good pinch of Malden sea salt, set aside for a few minutes and allow to reach room temperature (this relaxes the meat in preparation for frying). Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees centigrade (150 for fan oven) Seal the meat in a pan briefly (1-2 minutes) to colour and hold in juices. When coloured, dust with the powdered five spice and then place in the oven. For this sized meat you’re looking at 12-15 minutes for rare, 15-18 for medium-rare and 20-25 for well done, allow to rest for 6-8 minutes once removed from oven.

3. Whilst the steak cooks add a little more oil to the steak pan and bring to a medium heat, fry all but 4 of the whole Thai shallots in the oil until caramelised and fragrant, then de-glaze the pan with the beef stock. Add the bouquet garni, sesame oil, oyster sauce and a pinch of salt then bring to the boil, when boiling turn down to a simmer.

4. Lastly make your turmeric potatoes. Firstly pound the coriander root, 4 Thai shallots, red turmeric, bird’s eye chillies and garlic to a coarse paste, use salt as an abrasive if necessary.  Blanch the potatoes in salted boiling water for 3 minutes, then refresh in cold water (this is just to soften them a little, not too cook them through). In a large, flat, non-stick frying pan heat a little olive oil. Fry the potatoes on a high heat, tossing regularly to get even colour on all sides of the diced potatoes. When nearly cooked throughout (around 6-8 minutes) add the butter and the paste and cook until fragrant and golden brown (around 2 minutes). When cooked remove from the heat and toss through a pinch of salt and the coriander leaves. Lastly discard the bouquet garni from the gravy then congratulations- you can eat.

Salted Five Spiced Sirloin with Turmeric Potatoes & Thai Shallot GravyThanks very much for stopping by at Articuleat and I hope you have enjoyed your stay. I always look forward to your feedback so please don’t hesitate to get in touch for any reason whatsoever – I will reply as swiftly as possible.

See you next time,

Eat Well,

Sebbyholmes

 

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Thai Infused Sticky Pork Ribs with Lime & Coriander

Thai Infused Sticky Pork Ribs with Lime & CorianderIf I was told that the world will end tomorrow I would have one thing on my mind, “shit! What am I going to eat for dinner?” One of the ingredients racing through my mind that had to be eaten one more time would be sticky pork ribs. Pork being the most widely eaten meat in the world, I’m sure that I’m not alone in thinking this recipe is worthy of a last supper.

I happened to have a little spare kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy) leftover from a previous recipe, so I used it as a base for my rib marinade. Lemongrass, fresh chillies, white peppercorns and kaffir lime leaf all come together to make this marinade a Thai sensation.  The inclusion of all these typically Thai ingredients gives the rib meat a flavour balance consisting of sweet, salty and hot that is to die for – if you are anything like me and my flat mate you will keep eating until it hurts.

Now first things first, what are all the different cuts of meat that come from a pork rib? If you are anything like me you probably assume that a pork rib is a pork rib, which change in size as they follow the spine. However this is just a milestone in the labyrinth that is pork rib cuts. So let me squeeze it into a nutshell for you so we all have a clearer understanding for the future.

Right, so pigs have fourteen rib bones attached to their spine, which most popularly are split into four cuts of meat; baby-back ribs, spare ribs, St Louis cut ribs (spare baby-back ribs) and rib tips.

Starting from the top are the baby-backs, closest to the back bone. These are distinguishable by their curved shape and small bone. The meat found at the top of these ribs is said to be the most tender. As you move further down the spine the ribs become larger, flatter and wider with more meat between each rib – these are known as the spare ribs. There are endless ways to order this cut of meat e.g. 3 & up, 4 & over, this is just butcher slang for the weight of a cut of spare ribs (you still with me?).

We then come to the spare baby-back ribs. These are not the same as baby back ribs, nor do they necessarily come from young tender pigs. These are spare ribs made smaller by removing the rib tips (which can be eaten as small, roughly three centimeter long bones). These are more commonly known as St. Louis cut ribs, nonetheless some butchers call them baby spareribs to capitalise on the popularity of baby back ribs. Anyway lecture over and hopefully, as I did, we have all learned something new about pork ribs.

For this dish I used a whole rack of pork ribs straight from the abattoir for me and my flat mate to pig out on (excuse the pun). Now the meat from a rib is subject to lots of movement during life, as a result of the animal breathing. For this reason if you throw them straight onto a barbecue, eating them will resemble chewing the grip off of a tennis racket. Unless this is your thing? We will try and avoid this by cooking the ribs low and slow until they are tender enough to melt in your mouth.

That’s enough from me for today so get stuck in and enjoy your dinner.

(Serves 2-3 people, takes 3 hours with minimal effort)

Ingredients

-1 rack, pork ribs

-300ml, kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy) found in most oriental supermarkets and large supermarkets).

-1 stick, lemongrass, sliced wafer thin

-2 fresh, long red chillies, thinly sliced

-2 fresh long green chillies, thinly sliced

– 1 fresh birds eye chilli, thinly sliced

-2 kaffir lime leaf, thinly sliced, stems removed

– 2 tbsp, white peppercorns, spice grinded or pestle and mortared to a powder

-2tbsp, cumin seeds, spice grinded or pestle and mortared to a powder

-1 fresh lime

-1 handful (roughly 75g) coriander, washed and picked

Method

  1. This is the beauty of cooking ribs in this way, it takes minutes to throw together so all you have to do is wait for the magic to happen.  Firstly pre heat your oven to 180 degrees. Whilst that heats, make the marinade by combining the kecap manis, lemongrass, kaffir lime, chillies, cumin and white peppercorns into one mixture.
  2. Next coat the ribs in the marinade, using your hands to rub all the meat with the mixture. Now at this stage if you are prepared the meat can be left in the fridge (ideally for 6 hours) to marinate. However if you are hungry, cover them in tin foil and put them straight in the oven, cook for 2 ½ to 3 hours until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.
  3. If you are barbecuing, the ribs can be taken straight out of the oven and placed on the barbecue grill to colour, basting regularly with the leftover marinade. If not, place the ribs on a plate and garnish with lime wedges and coriander. These ribs are great served with some steamed jasmine rice.

Thai Infused Sticky Pork Ribs with Lime & CorianderThanks very much for stopping by at Articuleat and I hope you have enjoyed your stay. I always look forward to your feedback so please don’t hesitate to get in touch for any reason whatsoever – I will reply as swiftly as possible.

See you next time,

Eat Well,

Sebbyholmes

Sticky & Rich Kecap Manis Barbeque Hunters Chicken with Herb Spiced Chestnut Mushrooms

Sticky & Rich Kecap Manis Barbeque Hunters Chicken with Herb Spiced Chestnut Mushrooms

Barbecue is one of the most commonly eaten sauces on the planet! This is in no way true but hopefully it got your attention. Since my childhood I have always had an insatiable thirst for barbecue sauce; so I figured it’s time for it’s debut appearance within Articuleat’ s early posts, so this one’s  for those of you that share my love for this fabulous condiment.

There are as many ways to make barbecue sauce as there are recipes to cook using it, however after much (and much, much more) experimentation this is my favourite so far. I found that lots of people use tomato ketchup as a base for there sauce to give it the correct flavour balance and consistency. However, here at Articuleat that just won’t do – I created this recipe using Indonesian sweet soy sauce (known as kecap manis) as the base for my sauce. Kecap manis can be found in any oriental supermarket and most large supermarkets.

For this recipe I have kept the barbeque sauce mild to not add any extra spice to the chestnut mushrooms. If you are into your heat however, do not be afraid to add a little chilli powder, or extra peppercorns to my recipe. The key to this sauce is in the balance; sweet, salty, sour and hot all play elements in making this sauce one to write home about.

The sticky and rich consistency is a perfect partner to some chestnut mushrooms lightly fried in herb oil. Despite this the BBQ season is upon us so why listen to me – why not marinate some meat in this sauce and throw it on the barbeque?

(serves 2, takes 1 hour)

Ingredients

(for the barbeque sauce)

-100ml, kecap manis, sweet soy (can be found in any oriental supermarket and most large supermarkets)

-20ml, balsamic vinegar

-20ml, Worcestershire sauce

-60ml, light chicken stock

-1tsp, cumin seeds

1tsp, pink peppercorns

-1tsp, Chinese five spice

-1tsp, fennel seeds

-2 heaped tbsp, palm sugar, crushed (soft brown sugar will do)

-1 white onion, finely chopped

-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed

-1 whole red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

(for the herb spiced mushrooms)

-2, whole chicken breasts, boneless

-100g, chestnut mushrooms, washed and sliced

-1 handful (roughly 70g), parsley, finely chopped

-100ml, olive oil

-1 whole red chilli, finely sliced

-1 garlic clove, finely chopped

Method

  1. Firstly pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees. Whilst that heats lets get the barbeque sauce ready – begin by toasting the pink peppercorns, cumin and fennel seeds together in a dry pan. Keep these moving in a hot pan until you see a little smoke, then remove from the hot pan and spice grind to one powder (or use a pestle and mortar).
  2. Next fry the garlic, onion and red chilli in a pan with a little oil until golden brown and crispy (not burned or it will taste bitter). Once ready add the kecap manis, light chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar and palm sugar (soft brown sugar) and bring to a simmer. Once simmering add the spice grinded dried spices along with the Chinese five spice and whisk to combine, simmer to infuse for 2-3 minutes then remove and cool. Finish the sauce by combining to one smooth mixture in a food processor (should be a dark, smooth, rich pourable consistency)
  3. Now that the magic is ready get the hunters chicken in the oven. Using tin foil, individually coat each chicken breast in barbeque sauce and wrap tightly within the foil (if you have time marinate the meat in the fridge for a few hours, or ideally overnight), then place on a tray and put on the top shelf of the oven for 20-25 minutes. Ensure that chicken is piping hot throughout before serving, to check poke the end of a spoon into the middle and leave for a few seconds, remove and place the spoon on your lip – if it hurts it’s ready (obviously be carful).
  4. Lastly let’s make the herb spiced mushrooms. Bring a little pan of water to the boil and drop in the chopped parsley for 20 seconds, remove and refresh under cold water. Dry using a tea towel then combine the oil, parsley, garlic and chilli in a food processor until mixture is combined (should be bright green). Once combined heat this herb oil on a medium heat until hot, then add the chestnut mushrooms making sure to coat all of them in the hot oil. Stir these regularly for 6-8 minutes until softened
    and cooked.
  5. Serve the hunters chicken upon the chestnut mushrooms and garnish with a little parsley if you’re looking to impress.

Sticky & Rich Kecap Manis Barbeque Hunters Chicken with Herb Spiced Chestnut MushroomsThanks very much for stopping by at Articuleat and I hope you have enjoyed your stay. I always look forward to your feedback so please don’t hesitate to get in touch for any reason whatsoever – I will reply as swiftly as possible.

See you next time,

Eat Well,

Sebbyholmes