Miso-Marinated Beef Steak (with fried rice and sauce), page 460
Gyuniku no Misozuke
Friday, 11 January 08
Miso was used in Japan to preserve fish and beef before refrigeration. According to Ms. Shimbo, Hikone (now Shiga Prefecture) during the Edo Era (1600-1868) was known for its excellent beef. To bring this top-quality beef to the Tokugawa shogunate (now Tokyo), the people of Hikone used miso as a preservative. Today, miso adds a delicious rich flavor to many foods and is popular in many Western dishes.
When my daughter visited Japan on a home-stay exchange, her family—well, the mother—served quite a few meals based on beef. It was something of a disappointment to my daughter, who was leaning toward vegetarianism, but had been looking forward to eating a lot of fish.
There is a recipe for stir-fried rice at the end of this post. I made this before I cooked the steaks in the belief that rice can be kept warm more easily than meat, which I’d overcook trying to keep it hot.
Four 6-ounce sirloin steaks (I used 2 boneless rib eye steaks a bit more than one pound) Trim and reserve the larger chunks of fat to make the rice.
- 7 ounces akamiso (brown miso)
- 1/4 cup mirin (sweet cooking wine)
- 1/4 cup sake
Marinate the steaks for 5 hours to overnight. Ms. Shimbo says that if you leave the meat in the marinade too long it will get dry and tough. I started this Wednesday night, but work on Thursday left me with no desire to cook. When I came home, Mr. Tess was making his amazingly wonderful fried potatoes and mussels with garlic. Wow! I was so impressed that I forgot to take the meat out of the marinade. I should have taken them out and wrapped them separately (for up to 3 days, according to the recipe) It was still fine.
Mix miso through sake. Spread about 1/3 of the mixture in the bottom of a glass pan big enough to hold the meat in one layer. Cover that with a dampened fukin (tightly woven cotton cloth). Place the steaks on the cloth and cover with another cloth. Spread the remaining marinade over the second cloth. I tucked the edges cloth over the top. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
When you are ready to cook, remove the steaks from the marinade and if there is miso on the meat, wipe it away with a paper towel. Do not rinse! Miso burns very easily.
Heat a large skillet and add the oil. When the oil is hot add the steaks. Brown on one side, turn and finish cooking on the other side. I’m not sure how long I cooked them, but keep your eye on it: they seemed to cook faster than un-marinated steaks. Remove meat to a warm plate.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 2 TBS reserved miso marinade
Deglaze the pan with water and miso. Then add the miso marinade. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Ms. Shimbo’s recipe calls for the cook to ignite some brandy in the skillet, strain the sauce into a saucepan and then cook until it thickens. I omitted this last touch.
Slice the steaks and serve with stir-fried rice and the sauce drizzled over.
- Reserved fat from the steaks, or 2 TBS butter
- 1 small onion, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups day-old rice
- 10 large shiso leaves, coarsely chopped (or 20 small ones)
- Salt, tamari, and black pepper to taste.
In a wok, melt the fat or butter. Add the onion and cook over medium low heat, until it is soft but not brown (5 minutes). Add the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds. Add the rice, and cook, stirring, for 15 minutes. Break up any lumps with a wooden spatula. Stir in 1/2 of the shiso and add seasonings to taste. Push the rice away from the middle, and add the tamari. It should sizzle and caramelize very fast. Stir the rice back over the hot spot and mix. Garnish with the other half of the herbs. Serve.
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