Thursday, 15 January 2009

Beef Week

Last week was chicken, this week was beef. We've had cheeseburgers with the Minto Galloway mince, and I roasted the 1.5kg hunk of silverside to medium rare. We had it as a hot roast dinner one night, with some roast potatoes, pumpkin and steamed beans, and a dab of horseradish. But mostly we've been eating it cold. With this hot weather, a salad is perfect, and I've been making Thai-inspired ones.

The one in the picture has mixed greens, coriander, mint, spring onion, capsicum, radish, cucumber and tomato, with a sprinkle of cashews on top - and plenty of rare roast beef. I did one with avocado and some of the cold roast pumpkin, too. The dressing is a standard for me, but so far I only seem to have posted two variants.

The salad dressing recipes are very simple, but the proportions really are a matter of taste. It's lime juice, fish sauce, and grated palm sugar - with sesame oil and chilli as the optional extras. The sesame oil is not traditional in Thai salads, but it works beautifully. Use fresh lime juice if possible, or a good preserved one like the Lime Grove juice cordial. If you don't have palm sugar, you can use jaggery, coconut sugar, or just a dark brown sugar. Use dried chilli flakes, fresh chilli shreds or a dab of sambal oelek. Make your own personal blend of sweet, sharp, salt and hot.

I think the coriander, mint and green onion are essential to this dish. Without them, I would choose some other salad dressing. I've been thinking of trying a more European style, perhaps with parsley, beetroot, red onion, horseradish and shavings of manchego or parmesan. There's still enough beef left for one more salad...

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