Vietnamese Shaking Beef with Mime-Pepper Dipping Sauce
1 or 2 sweet potatoes (about ¾ pound)
One 1-inch piece fresh ginger
1 red onion
1 or 2 cloves peeled fresh garlic
2 top sirloin steaks (about 6 ounces each)
3 ounces watercress
Salt and pepper blend (Celtic sea salt – black pepper)
Paleo stir-fry seasoning base (coconut aminos – fish sauce – coconut vinegar)
2 tablespoons mirin (optional)
Roast the sweet potatoes
Heat the oven to 400°F.
Scrub or peel the sweet potatoes. Trim the ends and cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, then crosswise into ¼-inch-thick half-moons.
Grate or peel and finely chop enough ginger to measure 1 teaspoon.
On a sheet pan, toss the sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon oil and season with kosher salt. Spread in an even layer and roast until browned and tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and toss with the ginger.
While the potatoes roast, prepare the stir-fry.
Prep the stir-fry ingredients
Peel and thinly slice the red onion.
Trim the root ends from the scallions; cut the scallions into 1-inch lengths.
Finely chop, press, or grate enough garlic to measure 1 teaspoon.
Sear the steaks
Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel. Cut the steaks into 1-inch pieces; season generously with kosher salt and pepper.
In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil until hot but not smoking. Add the steaks and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned but not yet cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Do not clean the pan.
While the steaks cook, prepare the watercress and make the lime-pepper dipping sauce.
Prep the watercress and lime-pepper dipping sauce
Trim the root ends and any coarse stems from the watercress.
Juice the lime.
In a small bowl, stir together 2 tablespoons lime juice and half the salt and pepper blend; add more of the blend to taste.
Finish the stir-fry
In the same pan used for the steaks, if dry, add 1 tablespoon oil and warm over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the onion, season with kosher salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the scallions and garlic and cook until the scallions soften, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the steaks and any accumulated juices. Stir in the stir-fry seasoning base and the mirin or 2 tablespoons white wine or water and cook, stirring to coat, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 tablespoon butter, if using. Season to taste with kosher salt and pepper.
Transfer the watercress to individual bowls and top with the beef stir-fry. Serve with the sweet potatoes and lime-pepper dipping sauce.
An essential condiment in Japanese cooking, mirin is a sweetened, low-alcohol sake. Because it is rice based, paleo diners may want to replace it with white wine or water.