Black-and-Blue Beef Salad

  1. If you are the type of pirate who gets a periodic craving for a good piece of beef but a warm steak loses its appeal in the summer heat, this recipe might be just your thing. “Black and blue” is the designation for a steak charred black on the outside but still raw on the inside, which is a lovely way to treat a good cut of meat.  It’s a tricky preparation though, requiring a cut thick enough to get charred before the inside overcooks.  Filet is thick enough, but low on flavor.  The marinade and dressing pick up the slack on that front here, and the fresh, crunchy summer salad just makes the whole thing seem exotic.  Sort of a bold take on steak tartare … let’s call it Steak TartARRRRRRRRRR, shall we?

Black-and-Blue Beef Salad

For beef: A generous pound of beef fillet 2 garlic cloves About 2″ fresh ginger 1 tbsp dark soy sauce 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil 1 tbsp honey 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar For salad: 1 red onion 1 pint cherry tomatoes 1 cucumber, preferably English or 2-3 Persian 5 or 6 radishes 2 hot or 1 sweet red pepper 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

For dressing: 2 tbsp dark soy sauce 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil 1 tbsp honey Juice of 1 lime

For efficiency, make the marinade and dressing at the same time, the former in a ziploc or container fit for marinating the beef and the latter in a mason jar or other shakeable container.  And yes … another magic moment for the ulu and bowl…let others grate their garlic and ginger on a microplane.  It’s more piratey (and safer for your knuckles that you’ve probably already beaten up hauling on canvas) to chop at it with a curved blade until it’s diced to a fare-thee-well.
Place all of the marinade ingredients in your container along with the beef, which I prefer to cut into 4 or so smaller pieces for more contact with both the marinade and later the hot pan.  I use a dark soy sauce that doesn’t come in low-sodium version; if you do use a low-sodium, be sure to taste and add salt to both the marinade and dressing.  Give that a good shake and let it sit for about an hour.
Meanwhile, put all your dressing ingredients in a mason jar and give them a good shake.  (I had an excess of ginger and garlic so I just ulu-ed it a bit more and put it in the dressing and it was delicious.)  Cut up all the salad ingredients (minus the sesame seeds), dicing the onion finely and everything else to bite-sized.  I used two good-sized red jalapeno peppers here, so I diced them more finely than I might have a sweet bell pepper and kept a few rings for garnish.  If you can’t find the virtually seedless English (hothouse) or Persian cucumbers, just use a regular one but seed it and, if the skin is particularly thick and waxy, roughly peel it.
When the beef has finished marinating, heat a heavy frying pan with a bit of oil to ripping hot, then sear the meat quickly just until brown on all sides. This won’t take more than maybe 20-30 seconds per side.
Set the steaks aside tented with foil for a few minutes, then slice into bite-sized chunks.  This is the beauty of black-and-blue…flavor and texture just brilliant.
Toss the salad with 1/2 the dressing and the beef with the rest, then heap the beef on top of the vegetables, topping with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds and perhaps a few red pepper rings.  Enjoy with a cold something and a warm night.


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