Beef Loc Lac with Tuc Merik

This is a great recipe from Gordon’s Great Escape: Southeast Asia. Its one of my favourite food perve books, one which frequently comes off the shelf for a read but one I rarely cook from. Usually this is because I find I’ve not got all the ingredients needed for a lot of South East Asian cooking so when I do use it, its because I’ve planned ahead and been shopping!

Beef Loc Lac, Thai Beef

Anyway, this recipe is a particular highlight for me in this great book. In principle, its very simple and as far as the recipes in this book go, its got relatively few ingredients. The flavours really develop the longer you let the beef marinade so make sure you leave it for an hour or more. The Tuc Merik is sharp and spicy and perfect seasoning for the beef and the salad. 

British Sundream Tomatoes

The British Tomato Growers Association very kindly sent me a fantastic selection of tomatoes recently and for this dish, I used their ‘British Sundream’ cherry toms, on the vine, sweet and juicy and most importantly, smelling like tomatoes should! For the palm sugar, I also used Palmyra Jaggery a natural sugar alternative (and great for diabetics). You can also use it in baking or even as a sugar replacement in tea and coffee. 
Palmyra Jaggery, natural sugar alternative, palm sugar
Ingredients (cut down for 2):
  • 2 sirloin steaks (equal to 250g weight)
  • Bunch of watercress
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Vegetable oil & Rice vinegar (to dress the salad)
  • 2 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • Thumb of ginger, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 red chilli (or more/less depending on how you like it!)
For the marinade
  • 1/2 tbsp groundnut oil (I used rapeseed oil)
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar (I used Palmyra Jaggery)
  • 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce

For the Tuk Meric

  • 1 tsp kampot pepper, crushed (I have kampot pepper but normal peppercorns are fine too!)
  • Pinch of salt 
  • Juice of 1 lime (I used lemon)

Tuc Merik, tuk Meric

Method:

  • First, slice the beef into thin strips. Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and add the beef strips. Stir and leave to marinade in the fridge. 
  • Next, the salad. Remove any woody stalks on the watercress and stick it in a bowl with the onion (or shallots) and tomatoes. Shortly before serving, drizzle with rice wine vinegar & vegetable oil. 
  • Heat a little groundnut oil (I used rapeseed) in a wok and once hot, stirfry the beef strips with the garlic, ginger and chilli for around 3-4 minutes. Just before serving add the marinade (left in the bowl)  and let it cook through and reduce slightly. Then switch off and let the beef rest for a couple of mins. 
  • Prepare the tuk meric by mixing the juice of the lime/lemon with the pepper and salt and put in a small dipping bowl. You can use this as the seasoning on the loc lac and the salad.
  • Serve the beef on top of brown rice letting it soak up the liquid.  
Stir fry beef
Tomato watercress and shallot salad

Pick up a copy of Gordon Ramsay’s Great Escape book here:

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