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Top 100 Beef Recipes (August 2, 2005)

Ron's dreams came through the mail slot last week with the delivery of Antony Worrall Thompson's Top 100 Beef Recipes: Quick and Easy Dishes for Every Occasion.

In case you've been on another planet lately, Thompson is one of Britain's most popular TV chefs. He's done Saturday Kitchen and its al fresco version, Saturday Brunch. Thompson participated in I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! and the long-running BBC2's Food and Drink and is a regular contestant on the daytime game show Ready Steady Cook. He owns two restaurants in London, Notting Grill and Kew Grill, and the Angel Coaching Inn and Grill, near Warminster in Wiltshire.

As if that isn't a full-time life, Thompson is the author of many books, including his own, Raw: The Autobiography.

Well, get ready and steady yourself, for this is a book that beef lovers everywhere will have to have. We found the information useful and immediately to hand, with photographs of cuts and a good diagram of their location plus tips on preparing all the different types. Hard to choose which recipes? Yes, but wow, was the testing fun – and, hey, someone had to do it!

On today's menu:

Download these recipes in printable form as an Adobe Acrobat PDF (83 KB)


Chargrilled Thai Beef Salad

Tasty, fresh and light; this dish has everything, to our palates! The flavours combine beautifully; this makes a wonderful lunch or light supper. Serve with warm crusty bread and a cold lemon dessert!

Preparation and cooking: 40 minutes, plus marinating time
Serves 4

  • 1 Tbsp jasmine rice, uncooked
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) thick fillet steak
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 75 mL (2½ fl oz) kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 4 Tbsp lime juice
  • 3 Tbsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, deseeded, halved lengthways and cut into 1 cm (½ inch) slices
  • 4 red shallots, finely sliced
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 red chilies, finely sliced
  • 1 handful fresh mint leaves
  • 1 handful fresh coriander leaves
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basis leaves ripped
  • 4 scallions, finely sliced
  1. Heat a dry frying pan, add the rice and toast until golden but not burnt. Grind the rice in a clean coffee-grinder or pound to a powder and set aside. Reheat the frying pan and add the dried red chilies. Toast until they are smoky, then grind or pound to a powder and set aside.
  2. Chargrill or pan-fry the beef for around 12 minutes, until well-market outside and rare to medium-rare inside. Place in a bowl and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the sesame oil with the kecap manis and brush over the fillet. Marinate for 2 hours.
  3. Dissolve the sugar in the lime juice and fish sauce. Combine half a teaspoon of the ground dried chili powder and set aside. Combine the cucumber, shallots, cherry tomatoes, red chilies, herbs and scallions in a large bowl. Add the lime juice and fish sauce mixture and toss.
  4. Slice the beef thinly. Toss the beef and ground rice mix through the salad along with any cooking juices that have collected in the beef bowl. Pile high on a large platter and serve with a salad of crunchy raw lettuce.

Tony's wine recommendation:
A big red with sweet fruit and good acidity – Zinfandel, Amarone, Primitivo


Sukiyaki Beef Rolls

Japanese food is so popular today; it tastes good, is healthy and is always beautifully presented. This dish is Thompson's variation on a classic, and we just couldn't get enough of it.

Preparation and cooking: 30 minutes, plus marinating time
Serves 4

  • 450 g (1 lb) beef fillet, sliced 3 mm (1/3 inch) thick across the grain (about 16 slices)
  • About 1 Tbsp wasabi (Japanese horseradish)
  • 2 sheets nori (dried seaweed), 20×19 cm (8×7½ inches), cut into 16 strips of 10×4.5 cm (4×1¼ inches)
  • 4 scallions, each cut on the diagonal into thin slices
  • 8 shiitake mushrooms, stalks removed, sliced into thin strips
  • Cornstarch for rolling
    Cooking Sauce
  • 300 mL (½ pint) water
  • 2 tsp dashi stock powder (available in Oriental markets)
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 bunch scallions, white parts only, cut into 10 cm (4 inch) slivers
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 25 g (1 oz) (¼ cup) cornstarch
  • 4 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 beaten egg per person
  • 175 mL (6 fl oz) soy sauce
  • ½ tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 6 Tbsp mirin
  • ½ tsp wasabi
  1. For the marinade, mix together all the ingredients. Add the beef slices and marinate for 1 hour.
  2. Remove a slice of beef from the marinade and shake off the excess liquid. Place on a flat surface and carefully spread a little wasabi over the slices. Place 1 nori strip on top of the wasabi. Place 2 or 3 slivers of spring onion and shiitake mushrooms at one end of the beef slice. Starting at the end with the onion and mushrooms, roll up the beef slice and secure it with a wooden cocktail stick. Roll in the cornstarch and place on a platter. Repeat to make the rest of the beef rolls. Reserve the remaining marinade.
  3. For the cooking sauce, combine the water, dashi stock powder, soy sauce, scallions, sugar and cornstarch with the reserved marinade. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over a high heat. Add the beef rolls and pan-fry on all sides for 2–3 minutes. Reduce the heat, then pour in the sauce mixture. Simmer the rolls for 8 to 10 minutes until the sauce becomes glazed.
  4. Remove the cocktail sticks from the rolls. Cut the rolls in half and serve warm. If desired, serve a beaten egg in a sauce bowl for each person and invite guests to dip each bit into the beaten egg.

Tony's wine recommendation:
Chilled Beaujolais or Viognier or Spätlese Riesling from the Rheingau


Beef Escalopes with Parma Ham, Sage and Mozzarella

Inspired by the classic Italian veal dish saltimbocca, this works just as well; it's a nice variation – rich and sinful! You'll start looking for any excuse to serve this dish again. And again!

Preparation and cooking: 30 minutes
Serves 4

  • 4×175 g (6 oz) beef fillets
  • 8 fresh sage leaves, 4 finely chopped
  • 50 g (2 oz) (¼ cup) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 very thin slices Parma ham
  • 50 g (2 oz) (¼ cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ball buffalo mozzarella, cut into 8 slices
  • 4 Tbsp dry white wine
  • 4 Tbsp beef stock
  1. Place the steaks on a board, cover them with cling film and beat each one with a meat mallet or rolling pin until they are about 5 mm (¼ inch) thick.
  2. Place one sage leaf in the centre of each steak, sprinkle with Parmesan, and season with a pinch of salt and a decent grinding of black pepper. Top each with one slice of Parma ham and push down so the ham seals itself to the steak.
  3. Heat half the butter and the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan. Cook the steaks, Parma ham side down, for 2 minutes, then turn over and cook for a further 1 minute on the other side. Remove and set aside to keep warm, ham side up.
  4. Preheat your grill. Place 2 slices of mozzarella on each steak, then grill the steaks until the cheese is melting.
  5. Meanwhile, add the chopped sage to the frying pan and cook for 30 seconds. Pour in the wine and stock and boil to emulsify and reduce by half. Whisk in the remaining butter and season to taste.
  6. Place a steak on each of 4 warmed plates, spoon over the sage butter sauce and serve with new potatoes and a salad.

Tony's wine recommendation:
Red burgundy, Pinot Noir or Chianti Riserva.


We wish to thank BBC Books, BBC Worldwide Ltd, and Raincoast Books for permission to publish recipes and photographs from Top 100 Beef Recipes: Quick and Easy Dishes for Every Occasion by Antony Worrall Thompson. Photographs by Steve Lee.
© Antony Worrall Thompson 2005.
Food photography © BBC Worldwide 2005.
Beef illustration by Ann Ramsbottom © BBC Worldwide 2005.


Happily tested by Helen Hatton and Ron Morris.

Download these recipes in printable form as an Adobe Acrobat PDF (83 KB)




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