Friday, June 8, 2012

recipe share: filipino style beef steak

being filipino, i'm afraid i grew up more carnivore than omnivore. i ate rice everyday, and to my recollection, my favourite vegetable as a child was corn. i didn't develop my taste for vegetables until long after high school, when my palate was ready to be introduced to the wide world of food from anywhere and everywhere. (thanks to my university years and foodtv.)

i am in my late thirties now, and a mother. my foodie adventures are no longer about trying everything and learning all there is to know about a particular cuisine. these days, cooking and eating are all about feeding my family whole, nutritious - but delicious foods (we don't really need to get to where the omnivore's dilemma comes in now).

keeping it real, i'm not always successful. my pantry is no longer full of canned, processed, and otherwise packaged foods, but there are a few staples i'm still learning to live food experiments don't always pan out. and to be honest, we succumb to the convenience of takeout once, if not twice, a week. that's just the way things go. 

part of the issue is, i refuse to be a slave to the kitchen. just as i don't spend every waking moment cleaning, i don't want to spend hours in the kitchen. like the job-that-pays, that's precious time i could be spending with my kids. i want my kids' memories of me to be of the time i actually spend with them instead of doing things for them. (that's also time i carve out to spend with the wife and knitting, you see.)

so, the meals i make are usually quick, easy, and rely heavily on the repertoire i developed before children.

which leads me to today's recipe share (i know, long winded much? why yes). 

i served the beef steak with brown basmati rice 
and sauteed fiddleheads.

aside: i love fiddleheads. 
i ate them like chips that day. 
my family, not so fond of the fiddleheads. 
oh well. (more for me!)

this filipino style beef steak is an old stand-by. it's a great way to stretch a good steak, especially if you've got unexpected company. plus - it's quick, easy, and so simple, the actual recipe i'm about to share is rather pithy. adjust the amounts of any of the ingredients to your taste.

soy sauce
zest and juice of 1 lemon
sliced beef, from your favourite cut of steak (we like strip loin or tenderloin for this)
black pepper
sliced onions
grated or finely sliced ginger
about a tablespoon of butter

marinate the beef in equal parts soy sauce and lemon juice and throw in the lemon zest, too. (the soy sauce you use can change the flavour of this dish. so, experiment with soy sauces to see what you like best. kikkoman is our favourite.)

sauté your onions in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter (adjust amounts to taste). cook the onions until they have browned. then, remove the onions from the pan onto a plate and reserve.

now, brown your meat in just a bit more oil and butter, adding whatever marinade is left. as the meet cooks, you will see a nice begin to develop.

when the meat is almost cooked, return the reserved onions to the pan and give it a mix. let the flavour mingle about for another minute or so before finishing with a pat of butter. (the added butter is definitely not traditionally filipino but it will give the dish an overall gloss and cohesive texture.)

serve with a tumble of rice and your choice of vegetables.

if you are pressed for time:
and you just don't have time to marinate the meat, after sautéing the onions, you can proceed like so: 

add more oil/butter if you think it's necessary and throw in the sliced meat. as your meat is browning, pour your soy sauce in a circular motion around the edge of your pan twice, or thrice. then, zest and juice your lemon over the sauté. grate over or sprinkle the ginger. give the pan a good mix and then proceed with the rest of the instructions above.

optional garnishes and serving suggestion:
when the wife and i first moved in together, i got inspired and plated this dish around a cupped mound of rice, with some toasted sesame seeds, fresh coriander, the morning's leftover omelet dotting the plate. but honestly, fresh coriander or chives will do.

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