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Beef Satay with Ginger Dipping Sauce

Beef Satay with Ginger Dipping Sauce
With a little knife work and some skewering skills, grilled beef satays are easy to make, and they are always fun to eat. The lemongrass-scented marinade is a terrific aromatic complement to beefy flank steak, giving it a distinctive Southeast Asian flavor. Recommended wine pairing: Syrah (Shiraz).

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 5 Tbs. Asian sesame oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. honey
  • 2 Tbs. peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Thai chili, finely sliced (optional)
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, white portion only, finely diced
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 green onions, white portion only, finely diced
  • 2 Tbs. light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 flank steak, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 lb., trimmed of excess fat
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Toasted sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

Directions:

Soak 24 bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of the soy sauce, the mirin, 2 Tbs. of the sesame oil, the lime juice and honey. Stir in the ginger, 2 of the garlic cloves and the chili. Transfer the ginger dipping sauce to a small serving bowl.

In a blender or food processor, combine the remaining 1/2 cup soy sauce, the remaining 3 Tbs. sesame oil, the lemongrass, lemon zest, lemon juice, the remaining 3 garlic cloves, the green onions and brown sugar and process until smooth. Pour the marinade into a large measuring cup.

Using a sharp knife, score the meat on both sides in a crosshatch pattern, cutting no more than 1/4 inch deep. Slice the meat across the grain on the bias into strips 1/2 inch thick. One at a time, thread the strips lengthwise onto the skewers. Dip the skewers in the marinade, then place them in a shallow dish. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill. Brush and oil the grill grate.

Transfer the skewers to a plate and season generously with salt and pepper. Grill the skewers directly over the heat, turning once, until nicely charred and cooked to your liking, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Arrange the skewers on a platter, garnish with toasted sesame seeds and serve immediately with the ginger dipping sauce. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma On the Grill, by Willie Cooper (Oxmoor House, 2009).