Monday, 19 January 2015

Nuts about beef

We've certainly had a proper winter in Helsinki this year. The temperatures have been freezing and there's been snow, too.

Having grown up at the Arctic Circle, I've had fair share people who think that's somehow great. "Let's go ski!" "Skating on the frozen lake - so wonderful!" "How about a brisk walk in the crisp winter air?" Already as a kid I was firmly against that sorts of outdoorsy pursuits. Though the whole "even food tastes so much better after that!" was something I, too, could relate to.

In case you fancy abandoning all your senses (and the comfort of a central heating!) and hitting the slopes, this orangey pork neck, these lamb shanks or these oxtails cooked in chocolatey beer are the sort of treats that will cook in the oven and greet you with wonderfully comforting results upon your return. If, however, you feel like skipping the middle man, foregoing the outdoors and jumping straight into the food bit, this recipe is for you. Ready in almost half an hour and warms both your fingers and your soul.

Serves 4

Peanut sauce:

2 dl peanut paste (100% nuts, unsweetened kind)
1 tbsp rice vinegar
the juice of 2 limes
0,25 dl water
1 dl coconut milk
1 tbsp Sriracha
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp minced garlic

400 gr beef, for instance flank steak or another cheaper cut), in strips
1 large green pepper
1 large yellow onion
200 g fresh Champignons (small)

coriander bush

to serve: lime wedges, peeled and dry roasted peanuts (optional)

Take the meat into room temperature at least half an hour before cooking it. Prepare the peanut sauce by first whisking together peanut paste, rice vinegar, lime juice and water and then adding rest of the ingredients for a smooth sauce. Check the taste.

Cut the mushrooms in half. Peel and cut onion into thick slices. Roughly chop the pepper. 

In a little bit of oil fry the meat over high heat (in batches if needed) so it gets a nice brown crust. Add remaining ingredients and let them too get a little colour. Pour in the sauce and let simmer over gentle heat, covered, for 30-40 minutes until meat is done. Add more coconut milk if needed. 

Finely chop coriander and fold into the sauce right before serving. Scatter peanuts on top (if using), squeeze in some fresh lime juice and serve with rice.

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