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RECIPE: Thai Beef with Seared Rib-Eye


There is, I am assured, more than one way to skin a cat. And unquestionably, there is more than one way to prepare perfect, smoke-roasted, superbly flavoured steak over a charcoal fire. Or, in this case, maybe two charcoal fires.

And by way of a change, this recipe takes us into a very special area of Thai cooking sometimes called ‘crying tiger’. This approach, which delivers a flavour explosion, calls for a wet marinade ? something I almost never use on a grill because of the mess it can make. But, just this once?

Take a couple of large, dry-aged rib-eye steaks around the 600g-700g mark.

Four hours before you intend to cook them, salt them generously with sea salt crystals and return to the fridge. Now, make your marinade by combining 2tbs dark soy, 1tbs oyster sauce, 1tbs raw sugar (Dulce from Costa Rica if you can find it) and 1tbs canola oil.

Mix well and brush on the steaks two hours before cook time, and leave to marinate at room temperature.

Now make your chilli dipping sauce: to the juice of 6-8 limes, add ? cup fish sauce, 1tbs raw sugar, 2tbs chopped coriander leaves, 2tbs chopped spring onions (white and green), 1tbs toasted rice powder (optional: made by toasting Thai glutinous rice in a pan until coloured and then grinding it to a powder) and four small, red, hot chillied, finely sliced – with seeds and pith removed if you are of a nervous disposition. Combine well. Finally, drop half a dozen halved cherry tomatoes into this sauce.

Cook the marinated rib-eyes on a kamado barbecue such as a Primo XL over hickory, or on a clean, oiled gas grill. High heat ? something around 200-250C – will complete the job in around 12 minutes. Plus 6 minutes resting time In both cases, thinly slice the steaks, parallel to the bone, once they are cooked, and serve these delectable strips, alongside hot, steamed rice, with a drizzle of the dipping sauce.

NOTE: This recipe should deliver more marinade and dipping sauce than you need for the two steaks. I suggest you use the rest to cook 4-6 lamb cutlets in exactly the same way. Crying beef AND crying lamb? Tears of joy, I reckon?