As I mentioned in a previous post about the many wonderful qualities of grass-fed beef, among them is that it is less “marbled” than feedlot beef, its fat being laid down around the muscle rather than throughout it. And one of the great benefits of that is that left over, in other words, not warm though not necessarily cold, it is equally as good. Not being shot through with fat, the meat’s texture doesn’t have that coat-the-tongue, solid fat mouthfeel that comes with chilled or even room temperature feedlot beef. It may honestly be a bit better leftover, as its naturally intricate flavors have had some time to concentrate.
Since I had taken the original steak in an Asian direction, it was only natural that its leftovers should follow a similar route. I had the better part of a head of Napa cabbage taking up space in the refrigerator, along with about half of last night’s steak, and both formed the basis for an evening’s simple salad.
ASIAN SLAW WITH GRASS-FED STEAK
Serves 2, or 1 with enough for lunch tomorrow
You’ll remove the steak to room temperature while the salad matures in its dressing, giving you time for a glass of wine before sitting down to a most flavorful dinner.
1/4 head of Napa cabbage, sliced into 1/4″ thick ribbons
2 handfuls of baby kale
Any leftover bok choy sliced 1/4″ thick
Any leftover mushrooms, roughly chopped
3 scallions, sliced 1/4″ thick
4 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons mirin*
2 teaspoon fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon Sambal Olek or Sriracha (or more, to taste)
Leftover steak sliced as thin as you can get it
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
* Mirin is sweet, and it’s going to balance beautifully with the saltiness of the fish sauce and the mineral notes in the beef.
1. Remove the leftover steak from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature.
2. Slice the Napa cabbage. Set the slices in a large mixing bowl and fill it with cold water.
Use your hands to agitate the cabbage well, then lift the ribbons out into a colander. Don’t pour everything into the colander, or you’ll simply redistribute the dirt you just finished washing away.
Shake the colander vigorously several times to drain the cabbage. Rinse the mixing bowl and dry it.
3. Transfer the cabbage to the bowl. Add the baby kale, bok choy and mushrooms (if any), and scallions and toss everything together with salad tongs.
4. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, rice vinegar, fish sauce, and Sambal Olek. Also whisk in any of the leftover collected pan sauce. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to blend. Let salad sit for 20 minutes.
5. To serve, toss the salad once more, and distribute the salad between bowls. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds, about a tablespoon to each bowl. Arrange slices of steak over the top of each. Serve with one or two lime wedges. Season with a good-quality lemon pepper, preferably one with a built-in grinder.
This is a salad to savor slowly, leisurely. It is immensely satisfying, while at the same time letting you sneak up on the pending holiday excesses quietly.