Molasse Your Meat with Pomegranate Molasses and Honey-glazed Meatballs Recipe from 'Simply' by Sabrina Ghayour

Molasse your meat with this Pomegranate Molasses and Honey-glazed Meatballs recipe from 'Simply' by British-Iranian chef, food writer and culinary teacher, Sabrina Ghayour (Mitchell Beazley, October 2020)

Pomegranate Molasses & Honey-Glazed Meatballs

Essentially, these meatballs are a total spice-cupboard raid, but what really brings them to life and sets them apart from other recipes I’ve written is the finish of pomegranate molasses. It’s an ingredient that works so well with red meat and game, as it cuts through any richness effortlessly and makes for such a wonderful and somewhat exotic flavor combination. I have always drizzled pomegranate molasses onto tomatoes, salads, kebabs, and grilled meats, so it was only a matter of time before I paired it with meatballs, too.

Makes about 24 to 28 meatballs

Pomegranate molasses and honey-glazed meatballs


1lb 2oz ground beef (20% fat)

1 onion, minced in a food processor and drained of any liquid, or very finely chopped

1 small pack (about 1oz) of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

1 tablespoon garlic granules

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon sea salt flakes, crumbled

vegetable oil, for frying

For the glaze

¼ cup pomegranate molasses

2 tablespoons liquid honey


Put all the main ingredients, except the vegetable oil, into a large mixing bowl and, using your hands, work them together really well, pummeling the meat mixture for several minutes into a smooth paste.

Line a plate with paper towels. Shape the mixture into 24 to 28 evenly-sized meatballs.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add a drizzle of vegetable oil and fry the meatballs in batches for 8 to 10 minutes until browned all over and cooked through. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to the lined plate to drain.

Wipe the pan with paper towels and return it to the stove over medium heat. Mix the pomegranate molasses and honey for the glaze together. Return the meatballs to the pan and add the glaze. Roll the meatballs in the glaze to coat. Cook until the glaze has reduced to a sticky coating. Serve immediately.

Simply delicious with…

Tomato & Garlic Rice (see page 38) or Polow-e-Bademjan-o-Felfel (see page 125).

Simply Cover

(*Pomegranate Molasses and Honey-glazed Meatballs recipe from 'Simply' by Sabrina Ghayour -Mitchell Beazley, October 2020- Photography Copyright Kris Kirkham...Reproduced with permission)

Meaty, Beefy and Pleasantly Chewy, Grilled Hanger Steak with Red Wine Sauce from Floyd Cardoz 'Flavorwalla

When Floyd Cardoz: Flavorwalla by Floyd Cardoz (Artisan Books, April 2016)  was published i served a  flavorful side, Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Zest and Mustard. Today, with grill season in full swing, you get the plat de resistance...

Grilled Hanger Steak with Red Wine Sauce

Serves 6

I much prefer hanger steak, with its strong, beefy flavor and pleasing chewiness, to more popular cuts such as tenderloin, which I find bland and even kind of mushy. But unlike with more mild and tender cuts, you can’t just throw a little seasoning on hanger steak and slap it on the grill. This recipe requires some advance planning, since hanger steak is best when it is marinated before cooking. A bold marinade complements the assertively flavored meat and tenderizes it a bit as well. Here I use a red wine with big flavor both to marinate the meat and in a reduced sauce—which incorporates the marinade after the meat is grilled. This way nothing—including all that great flavor—goes to waste. Demi-glace is a highly reduced, flavorful sauce based on dark veal stock. It is a time-consuming process to do at home, so I recommend buying good-quality demi-glace (see Sources, page 345).

Use the widest saucepan you have to make the sauce. The wider it is, the more quickly the sauce will reduce to the proper consistency.

For the Marinade

2 cups red wine, preferably cabernet or pinot noir

cup sliced shallots

4 garlic cloves, sliced

One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into coins

Leaves from two 4-inch rosemary sprigs, lightly chopped

1 tablespoon black peppercorns, coarsely ground

2 pounds/907 grams hanger steak, trimmed into evenly sized steaks

Kosher salt

For the Sauce

2 cups red wine, preferably cabernet or pinot noir

6 allspice berries, coarsely pounded in a mortar with a pestle

One 2-inch rosemary sprig

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

½ to 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, ground medium fine

1½ teaspoons brown sugar, plus more if necessary

Kosher salt

½ cup demi-glace

Reserved marinade

156_Grilled Hanger Steak with Red Wine Sauce

  1. To prepare the marinade, in a large ziplock bag, combine the wine, shallots, garlic, ginger, rosemary, and pepper. Seal the bag and shake it to blend the marinade. Place the steaks in the bag, seal it tightly, and massage the bag to thoroughly coat the meat with the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, and up to 24 hours.
  1. Meanwhile, to prepare the sauce, in a medium saucepan, combine the wine, allspice, rosemary, vinegar, pepper, brown sugar, and salt to taste and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce is reduced to one-quarter of its original volume (roughly ⅔ cup), about 30 minutes. Stir in the demi-glace. (The sauce can be prepared to this point up to 1 day in advance and stored in the refrigerator.)
  1. When ready to grill the steaks, prepare a high-heat grill.
  1. While the grill heats, remove the steaks from the bag; reserve the marinade. Pat the steaks thoroughly dry with paper towels. Season with salt. Set aside.
  1. If necessary, bring the sauce back to a simmer over medium heat. Add the reserved marinade and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until reduced to a sauce consistency (the sauce should coat the back of a spoon), about 20 minutes. Taste and season with salt and/or brown sugar if necessary.
  1. While the sauce simmers, grill the steaks for 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare, or the desired doneness. Remove the steaks from the grill, transfer to a cooling rack, and let rest for about 6 minutes.
  1. Meanwhile, strain the sauce and discard the solids.
  2. Thinly slice the steaks against the grain. Serve with the sauce.

Cooking Time: About 1 hour / Inactive Time: 4 to 24 hours for marinating

(* Excerpted from Floyd Cardoz: Flavorwalla by Floyd Cardoz (Artisan Books). Copyright ©2016. Photographs by Lauren Volo.)


Roasted Marrow Bones with Small Herb Salad, Pairs Well with Au Bon Climat La Bauge Au-dessus Pinot Noir

Last August (2015), I shared Maine Mahogany Clams Summer Stew with Corn, Fingerling Potatoes recipe from New England Open House Cookbook (Workman Publishing, June 2015) by Sarah Leah Chase.

Today it's all in the bones with Roasted Marrow Bones with Small Herb Salad recipe that pairs well with Au Bon Climat La Bauge Au-dessus Pinot Noir from Santa Maria Valley according to author who used the combination at Nantucket Wine Festival. The festival 2016 edition takes place from May 18 to May 22.

Roasted Marrow Bones with a  Small Herb Salad

One bleak winter day when I was perusing  the rather barren and uninspiring aisles of a local supermarket, I came across some packages of caveman-like marrow bones at dirt-cheap prices in the meat section. I was ecstatic because on a trip to Boston I had recently dined on fabulous marrow bones at the Eastern Standard restaurant in the always welcoming Hotel Commonwealth. I immediately snatched up the packages and set to figuring out how best to prepare them as an unexpected dinner treat. I was so thrilled with the results that I ended up preparing the same recipe for 125 people when the Nantucket Wine Festival invited me to come up with a dish to pair with Au Bon Climat’s 2006 La Bauge Au-dessus Pinot Noir at their annual May tasting event. The prep kitchen for the wine tasting was not on the premises and transporting huge and heavy roasting pans filled with the marrow bones on foot over Nantucket’s one-way lanes to the site was not an undertaking I would wish to repeat.

Suffice it to say, I have since stuck to roasting smaller batches of marrow bones in the cozy familiarity of my own kitchen. I can happily make a decadent dinner out of two or three roasted marrow bones served with a small but invigorating herb and caper salad, a combination inspired by British chef Fergus Henderson. Otherwise, I serve a single marrow bone as an appetizer with a glass of excellent pinot noir to friends adventuresome enough to appreciate it. Serves 8 as an appetizer or 3 or 4 as an unconventional but great dinner

2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced

Ice water

8 center-cut beef marrow bones (each 2½ to 3 inches tall; about 4 pounds total weight)

3½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Crunchy sea salt, such as fleur de sel and freshly cracked black peppercorns

1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

2 ounces (about 1 cup) fresh pea shoots (optional but a great addition when available)

1 tablespoon brine-packed capers, drained

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

8 slices (½ inch thick) crusty bread, such as ciabatta, toasted

Marrow bones


  1. Place the shallots in a bowl of ice water and let stand for 15 to 20 minutes to soften the sharpness of their raw flavor.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425°F, preferably an oven with a convection setting. Line a rimmed baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
  3. Place the marrow bones in a mixing bowl, drizzle 11/2 tablespoons of olive oil over them, and then toss to coat them lightly all over. Season the marrow bones all over with crunchy salt and cracked peppercorns. Arrange the marrow bones, marrow-side-up, on the prepared baking sheet. Roast the marrow bones until the marrow is soft and light golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Take care not to roast the bones too long or the marrow will begin to bubble out of the bones like lava from a volcano
  4. While the marrow bones are roasting, prepare the herb and caper salad: Drain the shallots and pat them dry with paper towels. Place the shallots in a salad bowl, add the parsley, cilantro, pea shoots, if using, and capers and toss to mix. Just before serving, toss the salad with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the lemon juice and season it with flaky sea salt to taste.
  5. To serve, scatter a bit of the salad over each of 8 salad plates or 3 or 4 larger plates if you are serving the marrow bones as a main course. Center 1, 2, or 3 roasted marrow bones on top. Scatter more salad over the marrow bones and place 1 or 2 pieces of toast and a scant 1/2-teaspoon mound of crunchy salt on the edge of each plate. To savor, scoop out the marrow with a small spoon or palette knife and spread it on the toast. Season the marrow with a bit of the sea salt and top it with some of the herb salad. Enjoy immediately.

(* From New England Open-House Cookbook by Sarah Leah Chase-Workman Publishing- June 2015)

Eat with Rosé or Beer, Tamale Pie by Pam Anderson from 2010 'Perfect One-Dish Dinners'

What to eat with Rosé or beer?

Here's one answer from 2010 from Perfect One-Dish Dinners (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by Three Many Cooks Pam Anderson which I originally shared in August 2011.

Tamale Pie

Serves 6

You can use ground beef or even meat-loaf mix in place of the turkey. Onion lovers, sprinkle the casserole with ½ thinly sliced red onion along with the cheese and cilantro. You can make the tamale pie a day ahead, including topping it with the cornmeal mush. Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the pie to prevent a skin from forming. An hour or so before serving, adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap, top the pie with cheese, cover with heavy-duty foil, and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle with the cilantro and the red onion, if you like, then follow the broiling and resting instructions in the recipe.

Any leftovers can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days and reheated in the microwave.

1½ pounds ground turkey (94% lean)


2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons chili powder, divided

1½ cans (about 16 ounces) pinto beans, undrained, ½ can mashed

1 can (4.5 ounces) chopped green chiles, undrained

2 cans (2.25 ounces each) sliced black olives, drained

1 jar (16 ounces) store-bought salsa (2 cups)

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup (8 ounces) grated sharp cheddar cheese

Tamale pie

Adjust oven rack to middle position and turn on broiler. Heat a large (11- to 12-inch) deep skillet with an ovenproof handle over medium-high heat. Add ground turkey and cook, stirring frequently and seasoning lightly with salt, until it loses its raw color, a couple of minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons chili powder, then beans, chiles, olives, salsa, and ¼ cup cilantro and simmer to blend flavors, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring 3 cups water, cornmeal, remaining 2 teaspoons chili powder, and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan, whisking frequently, until mixture thickens to mush. Pour cornmeal mush over hot meat mixture, spreading with a spatula to completely cover. Sprinkle with cheese and remaining ¼ cup cilantro. Broil until cheese melts and mush gets a little crusty, about 5 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Alice of Savory Sweet Life had Full Review of Perfect One Dish Dinners in August 2010

(* Recipe © 2010 by Pam Anderson , used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,  photo © 2010 by Judd Pilossof, used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Give St Patrick's Day a New Zealand Twist with Fa'Alifu Taro and Corned Beef Recipe

My food and photography loving cousin based in New Zealand surprised me a while back by sending me a copy of The Great New Zealand Cookbook (Thom & PQ Blackwell) .

Browsing through it on Sunday i thought the Fa'alifu Taro and Corned Beef dish by Michael Meredith of Meredith's in Auckland pictured below would add a nice twist to St Patrick's Day table.

Taro and corned beef

Find out more about the book and how to order it outside New Zealand by visiting The Great New Zealand Cookbook site...

Great new zealand

( Snapshot from The Great New Zealand Cookbook -Thom & PQ Blackwell- Photos by Lottie Hedley

Soul Warming Food for Grey Days, Slow-Cooked Rib Eye with Potato Confit from 'Heritage'

After Cracklin Cornbread recipe, more comfort food for grey days from Heritage (Artisan Books, October 2014) by Sean Brock.

Slow-Cooked Rib Eye with Potato Confit and Green Garlic–Parsley Butter

Serves 6

I know, I know, meat and potatoes . . . so avant-garde. But sometimes one exceptional meal at home with loved ones can be just as special as a twenty-course tasting menu at a grand restaurant.
Slow-cooking is a technique that lends itself well to a large cut like the rib eye. The secret is twofold: get a good sear on the meat before placing it in the oven, and arrange it so that the delicious fat cap slowly bastes the meat as it cooks.
Such a decadent cut of meat topped with a flavorful pat of butter deserves a sinful side dish, and this potato confit certainly fills the bill. It can be made well in advance and stored in the fridge. In fact, the longer it sits, the better it tastes; the potatoes just continue to soak up all that tasty and delicious fat.

Green Garlic–Parsley Butter

2 cups chopped green garlic (green and white parts)
1 pound unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 cup minced shallots
Grated zest of ½ lemon (use a Microplane)
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons anchovy paste

Rib Eye

1 center-cut bone-in rib-eye roast (about 7.5 pounds), deckle and fat cap left on
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Canola oil
15 thyme sprigs
15 rosemary sprigs
1 garlic bulb, cut in half
5 cups Heirloom Potato Confit

Heritage_Slow Cooked Rib Eye With Potato Confit And Green Garlic-Par...

For the green garlic–parsley butter:

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Make an ice bath in a bowl with equal parts ice and water. Put the green garlic in a strainer and submerge it in the boiling water for 7 seconds, then remove and submerge it in the ice bath until completely cold. Remove from the ice bath, shake off the excess water, then drain and dry on paper towels.

2. Put the green garlic in a blender and blend on high until smooth, about 5 minutes; add a splash of water as needed to keep the blade running smoothly.

3. Combine the garlic puree, butter, parsley, shallots, lemon zest, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and anchovy paste in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until thoroughly blended, about 2 minutes. Divide the butter in half and put each portion on a sheet of plastic wrap. Roll each one into a log and wrap tightly in the plastic. Place in the freezer and freeze until solid.

For the rib eye:

4. Preheat the oven to 250°F. Place a rack in a roasting pan.

5. Liberally season the beef with salt and pepper. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. When the skillet is hot, add ¼ inch of canola oil. When the oil begins to smoke, add the beef fat side down and sear until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Repeat on all sides. Remove from the heat.

6. Cover the rack in the roasting pan with the thyme, rosemary, and garlic. Place the beef on the herbs and garlic bulb halves, fat side up. Put the pan in the oven and roast the beef for about 2 hours and 45 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 125°F. Remove the pan from the oven and let the beef rest for 25 to 30 minutes before carving it. Baste the beef with the pan juices several times as it rests. Remove the green garlic butter from the freezer 1 hour before serving.

To complete:

7. Carve the rib eye into 6 slices and arrange on warmed plates. Top each slice with a ½-inch-thick disk of room-temperature- green garlic butter and serve with the potato confit.


This recipe makes more green garlic–parsley butter than you will need for the rib eye, but it can be frozen, tightly wrapped, for up to 1 month and used in other dishes.

(*Excerpted from Heritage by Sean Brock -Artisan Books, Copyright © 2014- Photographs by Peter Frank Edwards)

Camping Recipes from Hot Dog Goulash to Newspaper Fish plus How to Pitch Your Tent

Summer is still in full swing especially in Europe where many businesses close their door in August.

For those of you who go camping while vacationing here are a few recipes.

Back in 2011, I shared this Outdoorsy Version of Bangers and Mash, a Hot Dog Goulash from The Camping Cookbook (Kyle Books) by Annie Bell.


Also in 2011, I served this Newspaper Fish for Dinner, Mackerel, Trout, Recipe from The Scandinavian Kitchen (Kyle Books) by Camilla Plum.

Newspaper fish

In her 2007 book Let's Get Primitive, Heather  Menicucci offers tips on where to pitch your tent from 1 to 3 hours away from 40 major US cities.

Check her How to Camp video.

If you want some creature comfort Discover 'The Freedom to Sleep around' with 'Escape' Camper Vans in New Zealand.

Not Going to Waste Good Kidneys with Eduardo's Fried Beef Kidney from 'Meat Hook Meat Book'

Not going to waste good kidneys with this recipe from The Meat Hook Meat Book by Tom Mylan (Artisan Books, May 2014).

Edoardo’s Fried Beef Kidney

Serves 2

1 fresh beef kidney, 1 to 2 pounds (weight varies)
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil for frying

93_Edoardo's Fried Beef Kidney

1. Pull off any membranes or fat on the outside of the kidney. Using a chef’s knife, slice it crosswise into 1/2- inch-thick medallions.

2. Toss the medallions with the vinegar in a bowl and set aside. Mix together the flour with a few good pinches each of salt and pepper in a shallow bowl.

3. Heat the oven to 250°F.

4. Drain the medallions, rinse in cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. Dredge each one in the seasoned flour and arrange on a plate to await frying.

5. Heat a few good-sized glugs of olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the medallions a few at a time until nice and brown, about 2 minutes a side. Keep the finished batches warm in the oven.

Serve with a medium-bodied Italian red wine, like Nero d’Avola.

(Excerpted from The Meat Hook Meat Book by Tom Mylan- Artisan Books- Copyright © 2014. Photographs by Michael Harlan Turkell. Illustrations by Kate Bonner.)

Cowboy Classic Dinner, New Mexico Red Chile and Coffee Crust Tri-Tip from 'Meat and Potatoes'

After growing up on his family farm in New Mexico, Rahm Fama conquered the table. In Meat and Potatoes, Simple Recipes that Sizzle and Sear (Clarkson Potter, July 2014), Southwest is obviously an influence that shows in his cooking. He also gives us advice on how to select a good cut of meat, cook it, slice it, serve it...and a variety of side dishes that will be great on their own.

His grandmother's cooking permeates this story.

Now grab your cast iron skillet and give a shot to 1 of the 52 recipes from 'Meat and Potatoes'. It will make you hungry for more of the book.

New Mexico Red Chile and Coffee Crust Tri-Tip with Creamy Corn-Blue Polenta and Caramelized Cipollini Onions


Tri-tip is often overlooked, but it’s flavorful and inexpensive, and the favorite cut for this cowboy classic. Traditionally this steak would be cooked in a cast-iron skillet over an open campfire under the stars. For the spice mix, I prefer the New Mexico red chile powder for its intense heat and smoky flavor, but use one you like. It’s important to cook the meat to medium—130°F, no more, no less—to rest to allow the juices to be reabsorbed back into the meat. Recalling the dishes of my youth that were seasoned with “corn smut,” a mushroom that grows on corn, I use blue cheese in polenta to give it an authentic Mexican kick. The cipollini onions are mild-tasting, easy, and showy.

They’re fine made a day ahead and reheated before serving. Serve the onions on top of the polenta
with the meat arranged on top.

New Mexico Red Chile & Coffee Crust Tri-Tip
 ½ cup New Mexico red chile powder
 ½ cup finely ground coffee
 ¼ cup brown sugar
 1 tablespoon salt
 ½ teaspoon black pepper
 3 pounds tri-tip roast
 1 tablespoon olive oil
 2 tablespoons unsalted butter


1. Toss together the chile powder, coffee, sugar, salt, and pepper.

2. Pat the meat dry. Massage the mixture into the meat. Put in a large resealable plastic bag and
allow it to come to room temperature.

3. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Heat the oil with the butter in a cast-iron skillet or a large ovenproof frying pan set over high heat. When it shimmers, sear the meat well, 5 minutes per side. (It will look as though it’s burned, but that’s from the coffee.) Put the skillet in the oven to finish cooking the meat, 3 to 5 minutes.

  1. It should register 130°F on an instant-read thermometer.

  2. Remove and set on a rack over a platter or baking sheet and let rest for 15 to 30 minutes. Then carve against the grain.

Creamy Corn–Blue Cheese Polenta

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 small white onion, chopped

  • 6 cups whole milk

  • 1 13-ounce package instant polenta

  • 4 ounces blue cheese

  • 2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen, thawed

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • ¼ cup diced scallions, both white and green parts, for garnish 

  1. Melt the butter in a large, deep saucepan over medium heat and sauté the onion for 8 to 10 minutes, until light brown.

  2. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the milk. Bring to a simmer and gradually add the polenta in a slow, steady stream, stirring constantly. Continue cooking and stirring the polenta for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it reaches the texture of a thick porridge.

  3. Fold in the blue cheese and corn. Season with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with the scallions. 

Caramelized Cipollini Onions

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 18 to 24 pearl onions (about 8½ pounds), peeled

  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary

  • 2 cups chicken stock

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

  1. In a cast-iron skillet set over medium heat, melt the butter.

  2. Sauté the onions and rosemary for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions become a rich caramel-brown. Add enough stock to cover the onions and the rosemary, and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Remove the rosemary sprig.

  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the onions with their sauce over the polenta to serve. 

Meatandpotatoes cover

(* Reproduced with permission from Meat and Potatoes, Simple Recipes that Sizzle and Sear by Rahm Fama in collaboration with Beth Dooley-published by Clarkson Potter,July 2014- Photography by Jennifer May...Thanks to Blogging for Books for Review Copy)

Addictive Beef Jerky and Papaya Salad Sandwich from Banh Mi by Jacqueline Pham

Not sure this addictive sandwich from  Banh Mi 75 Banh Mi Recipes for Authentic & Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches (Adams Media, July 2013) by Phamfatale Jacqueline Pham pairs well with Thai Basil Seed Drink we shared previously from same book.

Beef Jerky and Papaya Salad
Gỏi Đu Đủ Khô Bò

Yields 6 servings

Vietnamese beef jerky is very addictive. Although the meat is sufficiently preserved and dried to
allow safe storage at room temperature, the texture remains malleable enough to shred into pieces
to fill a sandwich. Salt is the key ingredient; it draws out moisture and preserves the beef for long
storage. However, this jerky is so good that it won’t last long, especially when it’s paired with pickled

4 red Thai chile peppers
2 pounds flank steak, or your favorite cut
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cloves, freshly ground
2 tablespoons Cognac (optional)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 drop red food coloring (optional)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
¹⁄³ cup Fish Sauce (Nước Mắm Chấm; see Chapter 6), plus more for garnish
1 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
¹⁄³ cup honey, warmed
2 teaspoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted
6 tablespoons Pickled Papaya (Gỏi Đu Đủ; see Chapter 6)
2 tablespoons Thai basil leaves, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons Vietnamese mint leaves, coarsely chopped

Beef Jerky

1. Preparing the chiles: Stem the chiles. Using a paring knife, cut a 2"–3" slit in the peppers. Remove some of the seeds (to reduce heat), and finely chop. Place in a mortar and pestle and mash into a coarse paste.

2. Preparing the meat: Place the beef in the freezer for at least 1 hour. Thinly slice the meat (depending on your preference, ¹⁄8"–¼"-thick), using a sharp chef’s knife. Make sure to cut the meat with the grain. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well.

3. Seasoning the meat: In a large mixing bowl, combine the garlic powder, cloves, Cognac (if using), sugar, red food coloring (if using), chiles, 1 tablespoon of the oil, ¹⁄³ cup fish sauce, and soy sauce. Stir well. Pat the meat dry with paper towels, and then add the meat to the bowl. Mix until evenly coated. Seal and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight (up to 2 days).

4. Drying the meat: If you own a dehydrator, grease the trays with a little vegetable oil and arrange the beef, spreading the pieces so they’re flat without covering each other. Follow the instructions for the machine (7 hours at 150°F is typical). If you don’t have a dehydrator, arrange the meat on 2 oiled
racks placed on top of 2 cookie sheets (to collect the excess liquid). It’s fine if the slices touch each other, as they will shrink while drying. Preheat the oven to 250°F. Bake meat for 20 minutes, then turn the slices with tongs and lower the temperature to 200°F. Bake for 20–30 minutes more, until the beef looks dried out but remains malleable. To guarantee the perfect texture without too much moisture, leave the oven open slightly while baking; simply use a silicone oven mitt or any heatproof object to hold the door open.

5. Sweetening the beef jerky: In a small bowl, combine the warm honey with 2 teaspoons of the vegetable oil. Stir well.
Brush a thin layer of honey onto the slices and sprinkle with lightly toasted sesame seeds. Return to the oven at 180°F for 40–45 minutes (with the oven slightly open, as in the previous step). The jerky should be slightly sticky but not hard. You can store the beef jerky in airtight containers for up to 2 months, or for several months in sealable bags in the refrigerator.

6. Assembly time: If the beef jerky is cold, reheat the beef slices on a greased grill, flipping the beef with chopsticks until both sides are slightly toasted and warm. Let it cool for about 30 seconds, then snip it into thin strips using kitchen shears. Add the pickled papaya (gỏi đu đủ) with as little moisture as possible (pat dry). Toss thoroughly. Set aside for about 10 minutes. Drain and discard the liquid; otherwise the mixture will be too watery and the sandwich will turn soggy. When you’re ready to serve, add the chopped Thai basil and Vietnamese mint. Toss well.

7. Sandwich assembly: Use 1 baguette per serving. Cut lengthwise into the baguette and remove some of the crumb.
Spread a thin layer of softened butter on one side and Lime Mayonnaise (Sốt Ma Dô Ne; see Chapter 6) on the other. Fill with the beef jerky/papaya mixture. Drizzle with nước mắm chấm. Add thinly sliced jalapeño pepper and the condiment(s) of your choice, such as Pickled Garlic (Tỏi Chua Ngọt; see Chapter 6). Garnish with 2 sprigs of cilantro. Close the sandwich tightly.

(Excerpted from Banh Mi by Jacqueline Pham, Copyright © 2013 by F+W Media, Inc. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.)