I only ever buy meat from Maurizio, my butcher of choice, on Saturday mornings. I used to stop by every week and get enough for two meals or so, but the line is so long these days — word must have gotten out that his stuff is good — that I had to change my strategy: I go less frequently, buy a little more, and freeze the extra. And every once in a while, when I’m in the mood for red meat, I get slices of bavette (flank steak) or merlan (a lesser-known, tender cut from the inner thigh) to have for lunch when I get back from the market. Because this is very flavorsome meat, I usually cook it in the simplest of ways, by just searing it in a grill pan. But the other day I decided to try something a little different and marinated the meat in a paste-like, miso-based marinade. Miso steak was so quickly assembled and yielded such savory results it may well become a Saturday lunch staple around here.
2 tbsp brown miso paste
1 tbsp dry sherry or sake
1 tbsp caster sugar
2 crushed garlic cloves
300g/11oz lean or skirt steak
baby spinach, sliced cucumber, celery, radish and toasted sesame seeds, to serve
Tip the miso paste, Sherry or sake, sugar and garlic into a sealable food bag. Season with a generous grinding of black pepper, then squash it all together until completely mixed. Add the steak, gently massage the marinade into the steak until completely coated, then seal the bag. Pop the bag into the fridge and leave for at least 1 hour, but up to 2 days is fine.
To cook, heat a heavy-based frying pan, griddle pan or barbecue until very hot. Wipe the excess marinade off the steak, then sear for 3 mins on each side for medium-rare or a few mins longer if you prefer the meat more cooked. Set aside for 1 min to rest. Carve the beef into thick slices and serve miso steak with a crunchy salad made with the spinach, cucumber, celery, radish and sesame seeds.