Sirloin and accompaniments

Sirloin and accompaniments

Green Pickled Peaches
Chris Chen

This dish originated while I was considering how to make apparent leathery chewiness palatable. I generally prefer to eat meat that requires a lot of chewing: it’s either a sign of a mature flavoursome animal, or a flavoursome secondary cut of meat. I also prefer not to cook meat so that it’s ‘falling-apart soft’. My solution here is to cook thinly sliced sirloin for the minimum amount of time, as gently as possible, to preserve its succulence and to make the accompaniments extremely flavoursome. In this way the sirloin texture becomes simply one of the numerous elements vying for attention in the dish.

For braising intercostals


Quantity Ingredient
100g sugar
2 carrots, finely diced
1 brown onion, finely diced
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 celery stalks, finely diced
1 bay leaf
2 thyme sprigs
1 teaspoon black peppercorns, lightly crushed
300ml full-bodied red wine
750ml rich veal s tock or rich dark chicken stock
500g wagyu intercostals

For the accompaniments

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon mirin
8 slices bamboo, (see note)
2 tablespoons clarified butter
80g enoki mushrooms, separated
1 lebanese or smallish cucumber
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 shiso leaf, julienned, (see glossary)
4 angus beef sirloins, trimmed of excess fat and sinew, about 120 g each


  1. Braise the intercostals:
  2. Heat a heavy-based ovenproof pan over medium–high heat. Add the sugar and leave it to turn a light colour caramel. Drop in the carrot, onion, garlic and celery and let the moisture coming o# the vegetables gradually dissolve the caramel while they cook. Preheat the oven to 180°C. When the vegetables have coloured and softened, add the bay leaf, thyme, peppercorns and a little salt. Deglaze the pan with the red wine and then reduce until syrupy. Add the veal stock. Simmer for 10–15 minutes until the vegetables are done.
  3. Meanwhile, brown the intercostals in a frying pan over medium–high heat to get a good caramelisation. Season with salt. Add to the simmering braising stock and place uncovered in the oven. Roast for 30 minutes, turning the intercostals over every 10 minutes so that they retain a certain amount of bite. Remove the intercostals (leave the oven on) and strain the stock (this is to be the liquid for cooking the sirloin). Slice each intercostal thinly along its length.
  4. Roast the bamboo:
  5. Combine the soy sauce with the mirin. Pour it over the bamboo and marinate for 30 minutes. Place on a baking tray and bake for about 20 minutes at 200°C until the edges are nicely browned.
  6. Crisp the enoki mushrooms:
  7. Heat the butter in a pan over medium–high heat. Fry the mushrooms until lightly browned and crispy. Season with some salt and white pepper.
  8. Dress the cucumber:
  9. Peel the cucumber, trim the ends and cut in half. Hopefully each half is at least 8 cm long. Cut away the seeds and slice the flesh into batons. Make the dressing by mixing the vinegar and sugar with some salt to taste. Mix the cucumber and shiso with the dressing and use within 30 minutes.
  10. Cook the sirloin:
  11. Cook the sirloin only when you’re ready to serve all the other elements. In a frying pan or shallow pan heat the stock retained from cooking the intercostals. If necessary, simmer to give a coating consistency. With the stock just at simmering temperature, add the sirloin and let it sit for a couple of minutes before fishing it out and transferring to a tray. To serve, put some of each vegetable accompaniment on one half of each slice of sirloin. Top with a couple of intercostal slices, then fold the sirloin slices over and lift onto individual plates.

Preparing young bamboo

  • Choose a piece of young bamboo. Put in a pot, cover with water, add a handful of sugar and simmer for 40 minutes. The bamboo is done when it doesn’t o… er much resistance to a skewer. Leave to cool in the liquid. To use, remove the husk, cut o… the tough base and slice cross-sections from it.
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