We narrowly avoided a disaster, and an embarrassing one at that.
It happens every year. Mrs. Paleovirtus’ birthday, coming so soon after Christmas as it does, catches us by surprise, and yet again we thoroughly forget to co-ordinate the present buying.
We (Paleovirtus Jr. and I) came this close (does thumb and first finger thing to indicate a Very Small Thing Indeed) to getting her the same thing.
I only noticed as I was heading out of the door that Paleovirtus Jr. was wrapping the selfsame thing I was on my way to buy. Oopsie McDoopsie. Time to implement plan “B”.
Well, it would have been, if the shop selling plan “B” had’ve bothered opening. The Golden Rule of Retail – “Shut Shops Seldom Sell Stuff”.
Thankfully, plan “C” was ready and waiting in the wings, and resulted in a present that Mrs. Paleovirtus was very happy with indeed. Chalk one up for serendipity and customer-unfriendly Sunday opening hours.
So, what exactly had Paleovirtus Jr. bought for her dear Mama’s buffdee that resulted in such a frantic bout of re-planning? It was a book about meat.
More specifically, it was a book detailing how one should go about spotting, procuring, storing, preparing, cooking, and ultimately serving the flesh of a good cow.
All the recipes had a high “oooh, want” factor, but this is the one I chose – Sesame Crusted Sirloin Steaks.
Whenever I hear the word “Sirloin“, I am instantly transported back to 1975, and a history lesson, when Mr. Wright, our class teacher, told us about the legend of King James I knighting the joint of beef that had impressed him so.
So much did this tale impress me, that I even managed to momentarily transcend my artistic limitations, and produce a rendition of this important moment in culinary history that contained objects that were recognisably human, something that has stayed with me down the decades.
Sesame Crusted Sirloin Steaks
- 4 × 140g sirloin steaks
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp sesame seed oil
- about 1 cup of white sesame seeds
- 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Bring the meat out of the fridge to come up to room temperature – allow at least half an hour for this.
- Heat a dry, non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the sesame seeds, in batches if needs be, and roast them until they take on a golden colour. Take care not to burn them. Remove from the pan, and set aside.
- Make the marinade. In a mixing bowl combine the fish sauce, olive oil, sesame seed oil, and the black pepper. Mix well.
- Liberally coat the meat with the marinade, gently massaging it in. Place the meat in a shallow dish, and allow to marinate for half an hour or so.
- Give both sides of the meat a generous coating of roasted sesame seeds, gently pressing them onto the surface of the meat to help them stick.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add a splash of olive oil. Place the steaks in the pan, and fry for 2 minutes per side, 4 minutes in total. For steaks of this thickness (see photo), this will give a medium-rare result. Fry the steaks in batches, if needs be. Don’t overcrowd the pan.
- When done, remove the steaks from the pan to rest for 5 minutes.
- After the steaks have rested, serve them, on a bed of stir-fried vegetables. I used spring onion (scallion), carrot, red pepper, mushroom, and celery, seasoned with sliced garlic and ginger, 5 spice powder, and a splash each of Saké and fish sauce.
- Depending on your own personal Paleo preferences, you may not want to use the Saké. If you don’t, replace it with a splash of lemon juice.
- To make the dish truly Paleo, get hold of fish sauce that contains fish, water, and salt. You’re probably best looking in an Asian store for genuine Thai fish sauce. I currently use Thanh Ha Phu Quoc.