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Friday, November 12, 2010

Steak Cubes in X-faux Sauce

I recently had the chance to check out some shots from my friend Rob on his blog Into the Flames which chronicles his travels in Australia. Amongst the incredible foods that he had the chance to eat was an old classic, a treat from my youth that we do not see here much, Steak Kau is how I knew it. Traditionally made with beef tenderloin cubes in a green onion and hoisin based sauce.  This was a standby of the banquets of my youth, where Cantonese food was the standard of Oakland and San Francisco Chinatown foods.  I was inspired to take a second look at this dish with a little live fire thrown in.

First, I decided that beef tenderloin was a little out of my league budget wise, so I went with flat iron roast, which is a remarkably tender cut of beef.  It is now finding favor in many restaurants as a more budget friendly cut of beef that closely mimics tenderloin in texture, while being a little more beefy in flavor.  I rubbed it with a dusting of Salt-free Dizzy Pig rub and then a second coating of my Top Rub. This was put on the kettle at a temperature of 300F with a chunk or two of peach.
Woo hoo! Fire is a burning.  Anyways, I let this go for an hour or so, just to get some smoke on and get the temperature up to 120F internal or so. Then onto the flames to get a little color and some of that good old fire onto the meat.
This was allowed to run over direct flames until done to about 130F, I chose to keep the fire as hot as possible to get the color and a little char while not over-doing the meat. I wanted it rare, as my intent was to cook it again once it rested and was cubed. I may have gone a little too long, but, the flat iron steak cut lived up to it's reputation for being tender.
And there it is, resting in my old BBQ pan.  I allowed the meat to rest for over an hour to make it possible for me to cube it into the size I needed for the end product.  I also made a sauce which combined elements of seafood, fruit, hoisin and pepper which I hoped would suffice for my lack of XO sauce.  Traditionally an XO sauce has dried shrimp and scallops, neither of which I had, but I did have some frozen shrimp shells and a few fresh prawns. What? You don't keep frozen shrimp shells in your freezer?  I added the drippings from the meat to the sauce as well. Veggies were prepared as well, green onions, young ginger, garlic and shiitake mushrooms all cut to size and separated for throwing into wok at correct time.
A quick tossing in a hot wok, fresh shiitake first, then the young ginger, white part of the green onions, then the garlic. I then added the steak cubes to the wok, tossed to heat and added the green part of the green onions and immediately added the sauce.  This was cooked long enough to set the sauce and then plated.
This sauce really worked great in this dish.

X-faux Sauce:
1/4 cup shrimp shell and prawn broth
2 tablespoons Hoisin Sauce
1 tablespoon Peach Habanero sauce
1 teaspoon Oyster Sauce
Whisk together to combine.  I believe this sauce will work best cooked once with the meat and vegetables.


  1. Dude.

    It is 9:20 in the am and you have me CRAVING some of this for breakfast. I bet the peach habanero sauce made the X-Faux kick just right too.

  2. I will probably use more of the peach habanero next time, it was milder than I expected. Maybe almost twice as much.