BLACKENED BEEF

Blackened Beef, pickled Radish and Mushroom Dashi

You’ll need little encouragement to sit down and take stock of Wolf and Socials Blackened Beef, Nettle, Radish and Mushroom Dashi
Here Francis Wolf takes Japanese flavours laid out with the precision of Muller-Brockmann to create a dish with an earthy, peppery and zingy mouthfeel, it’s a dish that will make you an addict of the fifth taste.

Francis Woolf's Blackened Beef - Blackened Beef, pickled Radish and Mushroom Dashi Recipe ingredient still life photograph | Pic-nik: A conversation of food

(serves 4)

BLACKENED BEEF
4 Sirloin beef steaks, alternatively use fillet or rib eye
1½ Limes, juiced
3 tbsp White pepper
2 tbsp Caster sugar
2 tbsp Salt
1 tsp Dry chilli flakes
Fish sauce
Sunflower or rapeseed oil

PICKLED RADISH
A bunch (250-300g) Radishes
2 Star Anise
1/2 Fresh Chilli
8 Peppercorns – Sichuan if possible
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Sugar
150ml Water
350ml Rice Vinegar

MUSHROOM DASHI
1k Beef or Veal Bones
500g Chicken Bones
300g Fresh Mushrooms sliced
60g Dried Mushrooms
20g Kombu
2 Sticks Celery
3 Shallots finely diced
1 Carrot, chopped
1 cob of Sweetcorn (use the husks if you have them)
1/2 tsp Garlic, chopped
2 tsp Fish Sauce
1 tsp Gochujang (Koren fermented chilli paste)
2 tsp Soy Sauce
1 tsp Rice Vinegar
Trimmings from the beef
Water

GARNISH
Handful of coriander
Pickled Radish
8 quarters Fresh Radish
80g Blanched Nettles
8 Wild Garlic Leaves or Sprigs of Chives

Francis Woolf's Blackened Beef - Blackened Beef, pickled Radish and Mushroom Dashi Recipe finished dish still life photograph | Pic-nik: A conversation of food

To pickle the radish, slice the radishes as finely as possible using a sharp knife or mandolin if possible ‘use the finger guard’ and put all the ingredients minus the radish into a heavy based pan and over a medium heat bring to the boil. Place the Radishes in a heatproof bowl or container and pour over the pickle liquor. (The pickled radishes will last for 2 – 3 weeks so it makes sense to do a whole lot of radishes whilst making)

To make the dashi, put all the ingredients into a heavy bottomed pan and cover with the water, over a medium heat bring the stock to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes Turn off the heat and allow the broth to cool allowing flavours to develop. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve or muslin, put to one side until you assemble the dish. (The Dashi will store in a fridge for up to a week.)

Francis Woolf's Blackened Beef - Blackened Beef, pickled Radish and Mushroom Dashi Recipe finished dish still life photograph | Pic-nik: A conversation of food

To prep and cook the beef, trim the beef of the fat and sinew reserve for the stock and cut the beef into four square-ish chunks. Marinate in the oil and chilli flakes. This can be done up to a week in advance.
3-4 hours before cooking the beef, add the lime and fish sauce to the marinated beef, the salt and acid will begin cooking and colouring the meat.
Heat a frying pan on a high heat, getting it as hot as you dare. Mix the peppers, sugar and salt, roll the beef in the pepper mix. (The beef will resemble a sandstone) Put a small amount of oil in the pan just before cooking and flash cook until black on all sides. The beef should be black on the outside, and white on the inside, as the dashi will continue to cook the meat when poured over. Leave to rest as you heat the dashi to a simmer.

Francis Woolf's Blackened Beef - Blackened Beef, pickled Radish and Mushroom Dashi Recipe finished dish still life photograph | Pic-nik: A conversation of food

To serve, blanch the nettles in boiling water. Strain. In a bowl (glass preferably) or serving platter arrange a garlic leaf or a few sprigs of chives, a layer of the nettles and coriander, and quarters of radish. Dot the pickled radish around the sides of the bowl. Basically, use the ingredients to make the dish look as pretty as possible.
Slice the beef as thinly as possible with a sharp knife and add to the dish. Pour over the hot dashi (this will continue to cook the beef) and finish the dish with more of the pickled radish and coriander sprigs.

Francis Woolf's Blackened Beef - Blackened Beef, pickled Radish and Mushroom Dashi Recipe finished dish still life photograph | Pic-nik: A conversation of food

By Chef Francis Woolf

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