Food out of the box: Summer balcony grilled beef with tangy sauce
There is more than saving money and time in making home-boxed-lunches. Preparing them can be the beginning of our inward journey into the following day. In my case, lunchbox prep starts the day before, when I cycle home from work, stop at the food shop, graze around and spot what is fresh and vibrant, go to the till, pay and head home to make dinner. After a full day of interaction with the road, colleagues, assignments, etc., the smell of fresh vegetables and fruit, the inviting colours and the pace of weighing and choosing what you will eat, is a grounding ritual. Cooking most likely makes us touch the four main elements: fire, air, water and earth and in doing so, we calm our rhythms and it does not become much more of a task to cook an extra amount and pack the leftovers in a box. Two meals in one. The next day, more often than not, the flavours are even more inviting than the day before.
Summer balcony grilled beef with tangy sauce
500 g piece of beef loin
3 Tbsp Dark soy sauce
3-4 garlic cloves crushed into a paste with a mortar and pestle
1 Tbsp Brown sugar, crushed together with the garlic
2 Tbsp Peanut oil
1 Tbsp Pepper flakes
2 Limes, juice only
4 Tbsp Fish sauce
1 Tbsp Brown sugar
1 Medium red onion, finely diced
1 Tbsp Coriander leaves , finely chopped
Mix the marinade ingredients and pour them over the beef and let rest in the fridge, covered, for at least 20 minutes, preferably 1 hour.
If grilling: Use marinade time to light the grill and let the embers cool off a bit. It is preferable to have a slow fire for this recipe. Once the fire is ready, sear the meat on each side, turning it regularly so that is browns on all sides and does not over-cook more on one side than another. The beef can alternatively be seared on the stove if grilling is not an option. For best results heat the pan thoroughly before starting to cook.
Remove the meat from the grill or pan at you preference, either when it is rare, medium or well done and let it rest aside before slicing for about 5 to 10 minutes. Whilst the meat it tempering, mix together the ingredients of the sauce in a small serving bowl that is good for dipping.
Serve the meat sliced thin with the sauce on the side.
Measuring meat doneness
Gently press the beef with your forefinger/index and compare the tension to that of the base of your thumb at the palm of your hand.
Hold the tip of your index finger against the tip of your thumb, touch the base of your thumb at the palm and compare to the meat.
Hold the tip of your middle finger against the tip of your thumb, touch the base of your thumb at the palm and compare to the meat.
Hold the tip of your small finger against the tip of your thumb, touch the base of your thumb at the palm and compare to the meat.