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Beef and Roasted Vegetables with Sweet Sake Sauce

This was inspired by a recipe from Masaharu Morimoto, one of Japan’s “Iron Chefs.”   For practical reasons, but also because I thought the recipe was vague and simply wouldn’t work well as written, I changed it considerably.  The results were very pleasing.  The sweet sake sauce was very tasty and it made a beautiful presentation on the table.  Perhaps best of all, it was quick and easy to prepare.  Serves 4.

2 tablespoons  

peanut oil

1½ - 2 pounds  

good steak (sirloin works fine)

1 large  

red bell pepper, seeded

1 cup  

carrots, peeled

2 cups  

mushrooms

12 whole  

pearl onions

1 cup  

asparagus tips

¼ cup  

chives, finely chopped

2 cups  

sake

1/3 cup  

black soy sauce

1-2 teaspoons sugar (to taste)

2 tablespoons  

cornstarch mixed with equal parts of water

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Rub the steak with oil and season with salt and pepper.  Cut all of the veggies into bite sized pieces, about 1½ inches.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the onions, carrots, asparagus or other dense veggies of your choice.  Cook for 5 minutes, drain and immediately rinse under cold water to stop the cooking.  Peel the onions.

Heat a sauté pan, large enough to hold all ingredients, over high heat until very hot, 2 to 3 minutes.  Add remaining oil and swirl to coat pan.  Sear the beef until nicely browned, about 2 minutes on each side.  Add all the vegetables to pan and arrange so as not to cover the steak.  Place pan in the oven and roast until the steak is rare to medium rare, about 130 degrees.  This should take 5 to 6 minutes.

When the beef is ready remove it to a cutting board to rest.  Turn off the oven and place a platter large enough to hold the steak and veggies into the oven to warm.  At this point test the veggies to see if they are tender.  If not allow them to simmer on the stovetop for a few more minutes in the pan before removing them.

When the veggies are tender use a slotted spoon to ladle the veggies onto the pre-warmed platter and return to the oven.  While the beef is resting return the pan to the stovetop and deglaze with the sake while scraping up any fond that has accumulated on the bottom.  Add the black soy sauce and sugar, mix well and allow to simmer.

When the beef has rested for 8 to 10 minutes, slice it across the grain into ¼ to ½ inch strips.  Remove the platter from the oven and arrange the beef strips on top of the veggies.  Add just enough of the cornstarch slurry to the sauce to thicken to the desired consistency and pour over the beef and veggies.  Garnish with chives.

Serve immediately with basmati rice.

Notes:

  • Black soy sauce is sweeter and slightly thicker than regular soy sauce.  If you must substitute, use Mirin (called for in the original recipe but unavailable to me), or use regular soy and add a teaspoon of sugar to sweeten.

  • The onions and mushrooms really are necessary for this dish, but feel free to substitute other veggies for the ones listed above.  Bok choy and celery, for example, would work very well.  Just make sure that you boil any veggies, such as celery, carrots or asparagus, that tend to require long cooking times, otherwise the short roasting period doesn't allow enough time for them to become tender.

 

 

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