Wednesday, March 24, 2010

GARLIC TENDERLOIN...cubed, marinated, seared, omg delish!...

Yes, I do eat meat. And yes, I am also married to a pescetarian (alas, the ironies of life!). As expected, I am the sole provider of carnivorous influence for my children. Out of our four children, I have one almost-vegetarian and three, yes THREE real carnivores who love a good piece of meat, done rare.

My boys' favorite meat dish is Garlic Steak. Actually, it's "Lime Steak" but I didn't have limes around when I made this and they loved it just fine. So, we shall call this Garlic Steak. You will LOVE this!

2# beef tenderloin cut into 1.5" cubes (fillet mignon)
1 onion cut into long strips
4-6 cloves of garlic, chopped into chunks (not too finely minced)
2 T fish sauce
2 T Maggi (find it in most grocery stores in asian section)
1 tsp salt
1 T sugar
1 tsp pepper
oil for searing, enough to coat pan twice
(optional 2 limes, oops, not shown here, bummer)

(1) Cut the meat into equal size cubes (or as cubic as you can) about 1 to 1.5 inch. Marinate the cut meat for 20 minutes room temperature with sugar, fish sauce, maggi, salt, sugar. Set aside. ***Yes, I said Fish Sauce. Adding fish sauce to meat and poultry (...and seafood) is "so Vietnamese"...adds that fabulous je ne se quois kick. You'll see.
(2) Coat a pan with oil. Heat on high. Add onion and cook until edges are brownish on high. Add a dash of salt and pepper.
(3) Remove from heat and arrange on serving plate. Set aside.
(4) In the same pan, add additional oil to coat the pan if needed. Still on High. Add the marinated meat to the hot pan leaving room between each piece of meat. Let it sit for a few minutes until you see the edges getting brown. Searing! That's where all the flavor is!
(5) Use chopsticks or tongs to turn each piece over to cook the other side. Heat still on high. Careful, there may be lots of popping oil. You MUST use a splatter screen. I swear by splatter screens and use them all the time.
See? Look at all the oil on my splatter screen, WOW, oily! Imagine that hot oil popping all over, getting your eye (remember my history of corneal abrasions?!), ruining your clothes (nothing worse than gnarly grease stain that won't go away...), coating the floor (ew, slippery, danger zone, beware!), etc., etc. Stock extra splatter screens! I use ones made of 100% metal (no plastic handle, which will eventually melt, crack, break off). They sell them everywhere (Walmart, Target, William Sonoma).
(6) Add the garlic when the meat is just about done. If you like it rare (the ONLY way to serve good meat is RARE!), less time. If you like it well, keep it on the pan a little longer add the garlic a little later. Test it dummy style: fork out a piece and cut it open. (Remember the meat still continues cooking for a few seconds from the initial time you remove it from the hot pan.)
(7) Watch the garlic turn golden brown and begin taking the meat out of the pan with tongs.
(8) Arrange the meat neatly on top of the cooked onions.
(9) Scoop out the garlic with a spoon or spatula and drop on top of the meat. **Now, say you happen to have limes around. This is where you cut up 2 limes and squeeze on top of the hot meat. Omg, amazing flavors.
(10) Beautiful! Serve with rice (for no-carb, eat as is) and a vegetable.
You can add a color to brighten it, RED ripe juicy tomatoes (my fave!) on the side. Tomatoes add a great sweet tangy bite and brightens up the plate.

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