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Thai-Marinated Beef with Rice Noodles



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Thai-Marinated Beef with Rice Noodles
Jean-Georges Vongerichten
In Julia's Kitchen With Master Chefs icon
by Julia Child with Nancy Verde Barr, 1995, Alfred A. Knopf


“This dish is quite typical of Vongerichten, and with a goodly number of
little garnishings and maneuverings – definitely one for the dedicated
and adventurous cook. Those with a more sober approach may, of course,
include only those elements that fit their culinary mood.
Jean-Georges’s Thai-Marinated Beef is a splendid introduction to the
increasing number of Asian ingredients available in our markets. The
special marinade both flavors the meat and acts as a tenderizer. Because
the loin in already tender, the role here is more for flavor than texture,
but when you have to settle for the tougher cuts, like flank, chuck blade,
and rump, it is a marinade to keep in mind.”

A Note on Ingredients: If you cannot find some of the items in your market or
in the Asian markets in your area, either omit or substitute - for the mushrooms,
as an example, use whatever fresh mushrooms are available and seem suitable.

Ingredients for 4 servings

The meat
4 well-aged and well-marbled 7- to 8-ounce top
sirloin steaks, 3/4 inch thick
About 2 tablespoons canola oil (for the final cooking)

For the marinade (1/2 cup)
1 stalk of lemongrass, ends trimmed, stalk chopped
8 lime leaves, roughly chopped, or
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 small shallots, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 fresh Thai finger chile or jalapeño pepper
1 tablespoon each:
red curry paste, hot curry powder,
ground turmeric
1/4 cup coconut milk
(Thai canned variety preferred)

The noodles
1 pound rice noodles

For the vegetables
24 fine fresh snow peas
1 pound fresh Ijimeji mushrooms or
stemmed and diced shiitakes
1 tablespoon canola oil

For the sauce
1/2 cup Jus-Rôti (Light Roasted Chicken-Wing Broth)
1 tablespoon green peppercorns
1 tablespoon soy sauce

For the garnish
1/4 pound (a large fistful) of fresh chives,
buds attached if possible
2 tablespoons Red Chile Purée

Special Equipment Suggested:
An electric blender or food processor
An 8-quart kettle (for boiling the noodles)
A strainer of a size to hold the noodles
submerged in the above kettle
A ribbed cast-iron stove-top grill, a griddle,
or a heavy-bottomed frying pan
Tongs (for turning the steaks)
A small saucepan (for the sauce)
A 10-inch frying pan (for the mushrooms
and snow peas)
A 6-inch frying pan or saucepan (for the chives)
A cutting board, a fork, and a very sharp knife
(for steak slicing)
4 warm dinner plates or a large warm platter

Preliminaries – the day before:
Marinating the meat:  Trim away all fat from the outside of the steaks. Puree the marinade ingredients in the blender or food processor and pro-
cess until very smooth. Spread the mixture over all sides of the steaks and
place them in one layer on a plate or in a glass or enameled baking dish.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate – 4 to 6 hours at least but
12 hours are preferable.

Preliminaries – 2 hours before:

Soaking the noodles:  Cover the noodles with warm water and let them
soak for 2 hours.
The Snow Peas, Mushrooms, and Chives:
Blanch (boil) the snow peas
for 1 minute in 4 quarts of boiling water, drain at once and run cold water
into the pan to stop the cooking and set the color. Drain them. Trim the
ends off the mushroom clusters and then separate the mushrooms from
the clusters. Cut the chives in half and discard the bottom half, then cut
the remaining chives into 2-inch pieces; set aside.

The Final Cooking:

Bring 5 quarts of water to boil for the noodles. While waiting, prepare
the following:
Seasoning the Jus-Rôti:
  Heat the jus in the small saucepan with the
green peppercorns and soy sauce, simmering gently for 5 minutes, then
setting it aside.
The Steaks:
  Preheat the grill (or griddle, or frying pan) to very hot.
Drizzle a little canola oil on both sides of the steaks and drop them onto
the hot surface. Cook for about 1 1/2 minutes, until the meat is nicely browned on one side – the juices will begin to appear on the top. Turn
and cook about another 1 1/2 minutes for medium rare - test by pressing
the top of the meat with your finger: it should feel lightly springy to the
touch, not squashy like raw meat, and not hard, like overdone meat.
Set aside, allowing the juices to be reabsorbed into the flesh.
Meanwhile, as soon as the noodle water is boiling, rapidly prepare the following, juggling pans and spoons and cooking everything all at once.
The Mushrooms and Snow Peas:
  Pour the oil into the 10-inch frying
pan, set over moderately high heat. And when almost smoking, toss in the mushrooms. Salt lightly and sauté for several minutes, tossing frequently,
until they begin to brown. Then scatter in the snow peas, season with salt,
and toss for a minute or two just until well heated through. Set aside.
The Chives:
Pour 2 tablespoons of water into the smaller pan, set over
high heat, and when it sizzles, add the chives and a pinch of salt. Toss
for a moment to heat, then set aside.
The Noodles:
Drain the noodles into the strainer or colander, then sub-
merge the strainer with the noodles in the boiling water, holding them
there for 10 seconds. Drain, shake off excess water, and turn them
out onto your warm platter – or divide among individual plates.
The Steaks:
Rapidly slice the steaks and arrange over the noodles.

 Scatter the snow peas and mushrooms over the steaks and spoon
the jus over all. Drift the chiles on top, and place a heaping teaspoon of
the chile puree in the center of the platter, or a smidgen in the center of
each plate – pass more separately if you wish.

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