Steak your claim
When they were boys, my husband and his friends called beef steak ‘moo meat’. They said it was often charred and rather tough. How times have changed. Now my husband prides himself on cooking steak béarnaise that is melt-in-your mouth. He could teach his father a thing or two about cooking.
Although he’s not keen on salt, husband has found that covering cheaper steaks liberally with rock salt and standing them for several hours in the refrigerator is a tenderising process. The salt is rubbed off the steaks and they’re patted dry before pan-frying or grilling.
He also suggests the 'hand' test to determine the 'doneness' of steak. Rare steak feels soft and spongy similar to when, with your hand relaxed, you press the area between your thumb and forefinger. Medium steak feels firmer and springs back, as your hand feels when you flex your fingers and press the same area. Well-done steak feels very firm, as your hand feels when you clench your fist and press this area.
Lean steak (and other cuts of beef) is a great source of iron, a nutrient that many Kiwis are deficient in. It is especially important that pregnant women, children, teenagers and athletes absorb the recommended daily amounts. Iron carries oxygen around the body and ensures a healthy immune system.
Steak is also an important source of the B group of vitamins and zinc.
Vietnamese stir-fried beef
400g lean beef rump, sirloin or fillet steak, thinly sliced into strips
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
3-4 tablespoons rice bran oil
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
100g sugar snap peas or snow peas, thinly sliced
2 kaffir lime leaves, julienned
2 cups mung bean sprouts
½ cup mint leaves, coarsely chopped
¼ cup coriander leaves
2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- Place the steak in a bowl. Combine the tamarind paste and 1 tablespoon of the oil. Mix into the steak and marinate for at least 1 hour.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a wok over high heat. Stir-fry the meat in batches for 1-2 minutes, until just cooked. Place aside. Wipe the pan out and add a little more oil then heat.
- Stir-fry the red onion for 1 minute. Add the peas and kaffir lime leaves and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the bean sprouts, mint leaves and coriander and stir-fry briefly. Add the combined dressing ingredients and heat through then return the steak to the pan and warm through quickly.
- Serve immediately on steamed rice. Serves 4