Beef tenderloin marinated in molasses with baked sweet potato puree

Today is Finnish Independence Day. In spite of being an expat, it is somewhat natural for me to celebrate 6th of December anyway, as it is a St. Nicholas day in Poland. As much as I would prefer to enjoy the Polish festivity (oh don’t blame me, we get presents on that day), it’s always uplifting to take part in independence merriment. This year, the national celebrations took place in the city of Kuopio and you can have a look at several photos from the army parade in my previous post.  We’ve also decided to have some fun at home with a bit more fancy dinner and so here it is – a succulent beef tenderloin marinated in molasses and ginger and served on baked sweet potato mash. YUM!!!

INGREDIENTS*

beef tenderloin
170 ml molasses
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
5cm piece of ginger, grated
1 tsp chili flakes
3-4 garlic cloves, grated
2-3 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme
2-3 tbsp pepper

1. Mix everything well and marinade for 24h. Turn the meat around occasionally.
2. Heat the pan and seal the fillet all over until brown.
3. Place in the oven preheated to 125C and roast till inner temperature of the meat will reach 56C (for medium) or till your liking.
4. Wrap the meat tightly in aluminium foil and let it rest for 15min before you serve.

* The recipe for beef tenderloin comes from the book STEAK by Paul Gayler

INGREDIENTS

1,5kg sweet potatoes
1,5 tbsp of runny honey or golden sirup
1,5 tsp cinnamon
1/2-3/4 tsp ginger
1/2-3/4 tsp cardamom
1 egg
heaped tbsp butter

butter
bread crumbles – preferably from rye bread

1. Pierce the potatoes with a fork, grease with butter or olive oil, bake in 200C till soft and peal the skin.
2. Blend the sweet potatoes, spices, egg and butter.
3. Transfer the mixture to greased oven-proof dish. Sprinkle generously with bread crumbles and put thin slices of butter on top.
4. Bake for 30min in 180C.

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Babi kecap – meat braised in sweet soya sauce

Ok, so I have to warn you 😉 I’m taking part in South-East Asian cooking festival on my favorite Polish cooking forum and what that means is that quite some recipes from that region will appear on the blog in the closest 2 weeks. I love the cuisine from that part of the world and I really wish that I could learn some more about it. Right now I can only study some cookbooks, but I dream of the moment when finally we will manage to travel there and absorb everything with our senses. My biggest priority is to go to Vietnam, but since we’ve started planning it’s always been the issue of either lack of money or time. Well… as in previous years I again dream that I’ll go there finally next year, but well… I guess that won’t be possible. For now, I have to stick to travel and cook books and just dream on 😉

The recipe below is adapted from fabulous Rick Stein’s book “Oriental Odyssey”. I’ve borrowed it by chance from my local library, but I simply fell in love with the recipes and now am awaiting my own copy 🙂

INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp oil
100g spring onions, finely chopped (well… not appearing in our dish 😉 )
50g garlic, finely chopped
25g ginger, finely grated

1kg of pork meat for braising (I used mixed pork and beef meat), cut in cubes
4 tbsp kecap manis
2 tbsp dark soya sauce
1 tsp tamarind paste
½ tsp freshly grated black pepper
3-4 chilli, sliced
4 bird’s eye chilli, whole
500ml asian beef stock

1. Heat the oil in a thick bottomed pot. Fry the spring onions, garlic and ginger, you may add a bit of salt.
2. Add the meat and fry for 2-3 minutes till it gets some colour. Add kecap manis, soya sauce, tamarind paste, pepper and chilli fry for a minute more. Turn down the heat, add hot beef stock and  braise till the meat will be tender (around 1,5-2,5h depending on your meat and size of the pieces)
3. Take out the meat pieces and heat up the sauce till it’s boiling. Reduce it quite much. It needs to be pretty dense.

Sesame beef stir-fry

Not to become too monothematic with my Istanbul posts, before serving you the final one, let me show you what I cooked last week. You may remember, I’ve mentioned it once, that on my favourite food forum we have a custom of making thematic weeks. The theme for last week was chinese cuisine. Being really succesful with my previous chinese creation – pork tenderloin in yellow bean sauce, I decided once again to give Ching’s fail-proof recipes a go. Much to Mr’s No Onion Please delight, I’ve chosen a sesame beef stir-fry recipe (Ching-He Huan, published in Delicious magazine). WHOA it is just amazing! It’s quite simple and the result is delicious – a huge chunk of meat (over 600g!) disappeared in one day! I believe it speaks well enough for the recipe 😉 Anyway, the result is not only tasty. The texture is absolutely fantastic! I must say I was a bit skeptical when looking at the picture in the magazine. As usual the food looked perfect, but my previous experience with coated meat was far from such – I notoriously was loosing at least half of the coating when frying, getting it burned and if it wasn’t burned then the meat was turning out to be soggy. So no wonder that when attempting this recipe I sighed quietly trying to gather all my patience. But there were no reasons to cry! As you can see yourself, the sesame coating is just perfect. It looks good, doesn’t fall off, it is crunchy and just bellow you’ll find melt in your mouth beef (if, of course, you’ll invest in a good quality sirloin). I saw my man eating  Ching’s dishes and I bet I already know whose cookbook will be the next present from him 😉

INGREDIENTS

marinade:
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp Shaohsing wine
1 tsp dark soya sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp brown sugar

250g beef sirloin, cut in very thin slices
potato flour
egg, slightly beaten
sesame seeds

oil for wok
1 tbsp Shaohsing wine
2 peppers cut in pieces
100ml beef stock
2 tbsp soya sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp corn flour

1. Mix the marinade ingredients together in a bowl, add beef slices and let it stand for half an hour in cold place.
2. Each beef slice should be coated first with potato flour, egg and finally sesame seeds.
3. Fry the pieces in heated wok for 1-2 min and set them aside.
4. Put the wok back to the heat, add wine and peppers, fry for 2-3 min.
5. Mix wine, soya sauce, sesame oil, sugar and corn flour together. Add to wok and fry for 2 more min.
6. Add the meat, mix well so that it gets coated with sauce and take away from the heat.