THE MELTING POT
Red meat fest
Eid-ul-Adha is in essence a red meat lover's carnival of dreams. It is a time when people can indulge in this guiltiest of culinary pleasures without any qualms, as the indulgence is divinely decreed. To aid in this excess and to broaden our horizons, chef Abdullah Tarek has provided recipes that are not typical Eid fare, but those that lend a global perspective. With all the red meat we will have on our hands come Eid afternoon, our tables will be a veritable empty canvas on which to smear the culinary colours of our choice, of which, thanks to the good chef, we have plenty.
You can use any cut suitable for roasting for this recipe. You can also use rib of beef, the strip loin or the rib eye. You can get tenderloins or rib eyes from Bengal Meat in Dhali. The meat has to be rested after cooking for at least half an hour and sliced really thinly for you to enjoy the tenderness. The timings below are just a guide, as they can differ depending on the type of oven you have or the size of the joint.
1½ kg rib eye of beef
2 medium onions
2 sticks of celery. (Fresh celery is available sometimes in Gulshan1 vegetable market or in Agora).
2 tbsp of mixed herbs
1 bulb of garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
To prepare your beef:
Take your beef out of the fridge 30 minutes before it goes into the oven. Preheat your oven to 240°C/475°F/ gas 9. There is no need to peel the vegetables -- just give them a wash and roughly chop them.
Break the garlic bulb into cloves, leaving them unpeeled. Pile all the vegetables, garlic and herbs into the middle of a large roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil. Drizzle the beef with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper, rubbing it all over the meat. Place the beef on top of the vegetables.
To cook your beef:
Place the roasting tray in the preheated oven. Turn the heat down immediately to 200°C/400°F/gas 6 and cook for 1 hour for medium beef. If you prefer it medium-rare, take it out 5 to 10 minutes earlier. For well done, leave it in for another 10 to 15 minutes
Baste the beef halfway through cooking and if the vegetable look dry, add a splash of water to the tray to stop them burning. When the beef is cooked to your liking, take the tray out of the oven and transfer the beef to a board to rest for 15 minutes or so. Cover it with a layer of tinfoil and a tea towel and put aside while you make your sauce.
Here are a few sauce recipes that go well with steaks and also the beef roast.
This is a Middle Eastern dish very similar to our biriyani. The lamb is full of flavour and the meat actually falls from the bones. The dish varies from region to region. This is the Saudi version. In the original recipe they use black lime, which gives the Kebsa a unique smoky flavour, but since we do not get it here, we shall skip it.
1 kg lamb chunks with bone
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tomato, finely diced
1 onion, diced
1 tsp cumin
4 green cardamom pods
½ tsp black pepper
1 cinnamon stick
4 ounces tomato sauce
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 tsp ground ginger
1 cup basmati rice, soaked for 30 minutes
Pinch of saffron
Salt to taste
In a saucepan on high heat add lamb and cover meat with water. Allow to come to a full boil then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook till meat is tender. When done, separate the meat and reserve the lamb broth.
In a large saucepan on medium heat, add oil and onions. Allow onions to cook until tender. Add tomato, tomato sauce, cumin, cardamom, pepper, salt, cinnamon, chicken bouillon cube, ginger, cloves and saffron. Allow to cook for 1 minute.
Add meat and sauté for another minute marinating in the spice mixture. Add rice on top of meat and carefully push down so no rice is above meat. Pour lamb broth very carefully on top of mixture. Broth should be ½ inch above mix. Cover and bring to a full boil. Reduce heat to low. Allow to cook for 10-15 minutes until you can see rice has cooked. DO NOT remove lid until finished.
Place on serving platter to serve.
Braised lamb shanks
Lamb shanks are among the chewier pieces of meat and taste best if cooked in moist heat over long periods of time. Now you don't need a braising pan to braise. You can braise in any covered vessel. If you do not have a braising pan, use any thick heavy pot with a lid that will fit in the oven. Or just use a deep baking dish and cover with aluminium foil. Remember to remove as much fat as possible in the beginning in order to keep the sauce from being oily.
2 lamb shanks
1 large onion
8 cloves garlic
3 cups beef stock
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp Herbes de Provence or mixed herbs
3 bay leaves
Prep the lamb shanks and other ingredients. The lamb shank has a bit of papery white covering which must be removed. But leave the silverskin, which is the shiny covering attached to the meat. This will cook away. Liberally salt and pepper the shanks.
Next, peel and chop the onion and carrots into thick chunks. Then smash the garlic, peel it, and put it in a bowl with the carrots and onions. Measure out broth and tomato paste, mix it together, and put it into another bowl.
Brown the lamb shanks in the braising pan. It will be best to use a braising pan or other cast iron pan or heavy frying pan for this recipe. Heat up the braising pan or roasting pan on medium-high heat with some vegetable oil in it. Add the shanks after a few minutes of preheating. Note that a thinner pan will not require preheating.
A nice, dark, evenly browned lamb shank is best. The darker, the better. Remove the shanks from the pan and set aside.
Put the vegetables, herbs, and garlic into the pan. Remove all but one tablespoon of the oil from the pan. Too much oil at this stage will result in an oily sauce. Fry the vegetables for a minute with the Herbes de Provence or mixed herbs and the bay leaves. Make sure to use a non-metal spatula, made of either wood or high-temp plastic.
Add the beef stock, and tomato paste to the vegetables. Add the liquid to the pan and scrape the bottom of the pan really well. Make sure to use either a wooden spatula or a plastic one when doing this. Scrape at it for a few minutes and get the browned meat bits stuck to the bottom mixed into the liquid. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Once the sauce is hot and nearly at a boil, turn off the heat and put the shanks back in the pan. Do not worry if the shanks aren't totally covered, as you will be flipping them a couple times. Cover tightly with foil.
Put the covered braising pan into the oven. Try to make sure the oven is really hot.
After 45 minutes, take the braising pan out of the oven and check on the meat. Use tongs to flip the shanks over. Put the lamb shanks back in the oven, and set the timer for another 45 minutes.
After 1½ hours of braising, the shanks should be pretty tender. At this stage you will want to reduce some of the liquid in the braising pan. Take the lid off the braising pan, and stick the lamb shanks in the oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes. This will help to cook off some of the water, making the sauce more concentrated and delicious. After 20 minutes, flip the shanks one last time, and put them back in the oven for another 20 minutes, uncovered.
Remove the lamb shanks from the oven and let them rest. Remove them from the liquid to a plate and let them rest there for 10 minutes. Drape a little aluminium foil over the shanks to keep them warm. Turn your attention to the sauce. Try to skim off any extra oil floating on top. Next, use a slotted spoon to remove the vegetables to a serving plate or bowl. Taste the remaining liquid. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Reduce it if you want, but, do not throw it out! Serve it with the shanks.
Usually if the steak meat is of good quality, you do not really need to marinade the meat. It tastes good grilled on its own. But the steak meat available in our country is not always good so it is best to marinade it a little. You can get good steak meat from Bengal Meat in Dhali these days. This marinade will produce a tender and tasty steak and it's enough for up to four steaks about 1½ inches thick. Remember to bring the steaks to almost room temperature before grilling; this will relax the meat fibres and make for a more tender, juicy steak. Do not add any salt to the marinade and do not salt the meat until ready to grill. This marinade may be used for any cut of steaks.
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1½ tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp vinegar
2½ tsp fresh lemon juice
1¾ tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1¼ tsp Dijon mustard
¼ onion, sliced
3/8 clove garlic, minced
Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Pour over steaks. Cover tightly and place the steaks in the refrigerator for minimum 4 hours or even better for 24 hours.
Remove the steaks from the fridge. Bring the steaks down to almost room temperature before grilling. Season steaks with salt and pepper. Grill for 6-12 minutes turning 3-4 times or until desired doneness.
Bleu cheese butter
½ pound unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tbsp kosher salt
3 tbsp crumbled bleu cheese
2 tbsp finely chopped spring onions
Combine the ingredients together. Put in mould or roll in foil plastic wrap. Put in the fridge till it sets. Cut thick slices and serve over steak.
Savoury steak sauce
1 cup ketchup
1½ tbsp mustard
1½ tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
7 drops hot pepper or Tabasco sauce
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.
Balsamic mustard steak sauce
½ cup of balsamic vinegar
¼ cup Dijon mustard
Cook the meat of your choice in a pan. With the meat drippings in the skillet, add the balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil. Boil until it thickens to a syrupy texture, about 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and whisk in the Dijon mustard.
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Food prepared for Star Lifestyle
by Chef Abdullah Tareq