Monday, August 26, 2013

Bistek Tagalog, My Way

Bistek is the Filipino version of beef steak.  Usually, the beef is sliced thinly then marinated in calamansi juice and soy sauce then seasoned with salt and pepper.  It is then cooked with onion rings.

My version, however, is a bit different - mainly because I don't like using thin slices of beef, instead I like small chunks of tenderloin (whether beef or pork).  I also like my bistek sour (more than the usual), with a lot of thick sauce (thickened with cornstarch) and with caramelized sweet onions mixed right in (not as garnish).

My version -

500 grams tenderloin, cubed or sliced as preferred (beef or pork)
6 tablespoons light soy sauce
3 tablespoons calamansi juice
5 tablespoons low fat milk
1 to 2 teaspoons black peppercorns, lightly smashed

1 large sweet onion (Vidalia), sliced into rings
1/4 to 1/3 cup water
salt and pepper, to taste
cornstarch slurry

Marinate the tenderloin pieces in soy sauce, calamansi juice, milk and peppercorns at least an hour (personally I don't recommend a too long marinating time).

Heat oil gently and caramelize the onion rings (this may take some time over a gentle heat so as not to burn the onions).  Remove the onions and increase heat to medium or medium-high.  Using a slotted spoon, lift the meat pieces and place into the frying pan.  Stir fry to almost the desired doneness.  Remove the beef from the pan and pour in the marinade.  Heat gently; taste the marinade and adjust with water and seasonings, as preferred.  Reduce a little or thicken with cornstarch slurry.  Add in the meat and onions and toss for the sauce to coat the meat and onion pieces.  Remove from heat and serve immediately.

(I usually "undercook" the beef because it still "cooks" even off flame and overdone beef is not tasty at all!  Also I almost never add salt anymore, but then honestly, my taste buds veer towards "matabang" or being a bit bland.  I do, however, at times, add more calamansi juice.  For those unable to get calamansi juice, lime or lemon will do.)

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