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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Because you asked

Dear Internet,

As a foodie, I'm faced with a certain dilemma. One the one hand I could stand to eat hunks of cow on a regular basis, yet my vanity isn't down with that and my sense of mortality seconds the motion. The solution is to "stretch" the beef component, so my tastebuds get to groove on all the beefy deliciousosity without needing to wrap myself outside a steak the size of a hubcap.

So, here is one of my fave ways of doing just that. Beef Negamaki.

Start with a fairly small portion of none-too-precious (any member of the "round" family) beef. Tenderness is not an issue, but deeply beefy flavor is.
Wrap the beef in plastic. (Cheapskate that I am, I use the same wrap whence it came.) Whack it with a meat mallet. You want it as thin and flattened as possible without tearing.
Once flattened, put trimmed scallion/green onion/spring onion/these things segments along the length. Roll up tight. You should be able to wrap twice around, otherwise use a toothpick to secure. (figure 1/2 lb. beef for 6 scallions)

Now, make a glaze/dipping sauce.
Let your taste be your guide. I like soy sauce, sesame seeds & peanut oil (w. a dash of sesame oil), TINY bit of fresh garlic and fresh ginger, TINY bit of red pepper flakes, lemon and [not pictured] a smallish spoonful of light brown sugar. Stir to dissolve sugar. Adjust to taste. (In my case the proportions of soy:lemon:oil are 3:1:1, but taste and adjust as you go.)
Coat the beef LIGHTLY with peanut oil -- or whatever you're not allergic to -- for two reasons, so the beef doesn't stick to the grates and so the seasonings don't draw out the juices of the beef. That done, salt and pepper the beef rolls and throw on the grill. (It was raining so we used the indoor grill.)Flip over and brush the TOP SIDE with the glaze/soy thing. You want it to caramelize, not burn. Then you flip over again and glaze the other side. Repeat. You want a deeeeeeeeep brown crust.
Give the remaining glaze a quick boil (microwave is fine) to thicken up and eliminate any microbial interlopers. (A TEENSY bit of cornstarch/water solution will help if you like your glazes the consistency of, say, BBQ sauce.) Plate with some spinach salad on the side and veggie potstickers. (More on that soon. I had some saved up in the freezer.)
The spinach is dressed with a miso-wasabi dressing, note the dipping sauce and the sake cups with the STELLAR Sam Adams Black Lager, because I'm geeky like that. You're supposed to slice the beef into bite-sized rolls, like this.

But it was late.

And we were hungry.

And I forgot.



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