Seared Beef with cucumber and seaweed - Ottolenghi
Ottolenghi – www.ottolenghi.co.uk
This salad makes a satisfying cold main course, served with some warm or cold vermicelli rice noodles. Bits of meat left over from a Sunday roast would work perfectly well. The cucumbers are easiest to peel with a mandolin. I highly recommend investing in one - they're very versatile and will come in handy for many of the recipes in this supplement. Just watch your fingers - I suggest gripping the vegetable you are slicing with a cloth. You can substitute the sunflower oil for rapeseed oil.
Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF. Ask the Provenance Village Butcher team for 500g striploin of beef, fat and sinew trimmed off. Rub the meat with sunflower oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Sear on a piping-hot griddle so that it's dark brown all over, and criss-crossed on every surface with black sear-strips from the pan – 3 minutes each side should do it. Now roast in the oven (15 minutes for medium-rare, or longer if you prefer it well cooked). Let it rest until close to room temperature.
While the meat is cooking, peel 2 cucumbers and cut into thin strips using a mandolin or peeler. Put them in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Leave to sweat for 30 minutes, pat dry, then place in a large bowl.
Soak 10g dried wakama seaweed for 10 minutes in plenty of cold water, drain and rinse. Pat it dry, then tear into small pieces and add to the cucumber. Slice the beef into 1cm slices, cut into thin strips and add them, too, along with 3 chopped mild red chillies. In a little bowl, mix 5 tablespoons of chilli sauce, 2 tablespoons of sesame oil and 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and 2-3cm of grated ginger.
To serve, pour the sauce over the beef, cucumber and seaweed. Add 45g of coriander and 30g of watercress and toss together gently. Pile up in a serving dish and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of lightly toasted sesame seeds.