Thursday, 12 June 2014

Tropic Thunder

Straccetti di Manzo allo Salmoriglio & Salsa di Ananas Piccante
Strips of Beef with Salmoriglio Dressing & Spicy Pineapple Salsa 

I know you are all in shock because I have posted a meat dish... But there you go! I am always good for surprises! Especially when I am feeling hungry!

And it is true, the vast majority of my dishes are vegetarian dishes, but that is mainly because I think it is sad to simply eat meat without a second thought when there are so many vegetables and combinations thereof that you can enjoy. Meat- yes please! But only now and again... And only if you do something special to the flavor of it... Like I did right here with this little dish!

The main reason I made this dish tough, to be brutally honest, was not for the meat, but much more so because I had left-over pineapple and wanted to make this great, spicy, tangy salsa, with cilantro, chili and Huacatay which I love so much... And it just so happened that a meat dish was the best food for it to accompany... And so it was done!

To make the "straccetti" of beef, which literally means "little rags" or "shreds", I had a nice slice of paper-thin flank steak, a half of a cucumber, 1 Spring onion, 1 red chili pepper, mint, cilantro, parsley, marjoram and Huacatay.

What made this so delicious was that the meat was tangy and lemony with a strong herb background and that the salsa was fruity and refreshing to go with it.

To make the salsa, finely chop half of a pineapple and add a handful each of finely chopped cilantro and huacatay, 1 Spring onion, finely chopped, 1 red chili, with the seeds removed, also finely chopped, a little salt, a little sugar and a good drizzle of olive oil.

Stir everything together well, add some fresh lemon juice and stir... Perfect! The best things in life are simple, right?

I cut the thinly sliced beef into strips, turned on the heat, added some oil to my frying pan and once it was nice and hot, added the beef strips and stirred them occasionally and added salt and pepper for seasoning.

In the meantime, I finely chopped parsley, plenty of marjoram and a couple of strips of lemon zest for the salmoriglio. This is traditionally made using dried oregano, salt, pepper, olive oil... But since when do I stick to traditions?

Fry the beef strips at a high temperature with a good oil, add half of the herbs and toss until the meat has completely changed color. Add the juice of half a lemon, salt, pepper, olive oil and toss everything together again.

Served together with a slice or two of flat bread, this was a great summer meal, light, FULL of flavor and tangy and refreshing... Try it- you'll like it!

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