BY ANNA OLSON
This refreshing salad is inspired by the salad rolls that often start a Vietnamese meal. Rice noodles are tossed with crunchy, colourful vegetables, but the special addition to this salad is poached beef Chuck Eye Roll. The beef is cooked in a broth that can then be enjoyed as Pho, but then the chilled, cooked beef is thinly sliced and the salad is finished with a peanut ginger dressing.
- 4 cups (1 L) beef stock
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1-inch (2.5 cm) fresh ginger, peeled & sliced
- 3 whole star anise
- 4 whole cloves
- 4 whole black peppercorns
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 lb (800-900 g) Canadian chuck eye roll (boneless blade), tied or Inside Round
- 2 Tbsp (30 mL) peanut butter
- 1 Tbsp (15 mL) finely grated fresh ginger
- 6 Tbsp (90 mL) rice vinegar
- 2 Tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil
- 4 tsp (16 g) granulated sugar
- dash fish sauce
- hot sauce, such as Sriracha
- salt & pepper
- 130 g (about ⅓ package) flat rice noodles
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into julienne strips
- ½ English cucumber, sliced
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
- 12 basil leaves
- 8 mint leaves
- 8 leaf lettuce leaves, shredded
- ½ cup salted peanuts
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds. lightly toasted
- For the beef, bring the beef stock, onion, ginger and spices up to a simmer in a medium stockpot. Add the beef, and top up with water so that the beef is fully submerged. Gently simmer the beef, uncovered, until it pierces easily with a fork, about 3 hours. Remove the beef to cool and then chill overnight. The fragrant broth can be used to make pho!
- For the dressing, whisk the peanut butter and grated ginger and whisk in the rice vinegar. Drizzle in the oil while whisking, and add the sugar, fish sauce and hot sauce, then season to taste. Set aside.
- Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil and add the rice stick
- noodles, boiling on medium-high for about 6 minutes, or until tender. Drain and rinse to cool a little, and then place the noodles in a large bowl and toss with half of the dressing. Add the green onion, pepper, cucumber, carrot, bail, and mint and toss again.
- Arrange the shredded lettuce on a large platter (or 4 individual plates) and spoon the salad overtop. Break down the cooked beef into sections and then cut into thin slices across the grain, trimming away any excess fat. These slices can then be julienned and arranged on top of the salad. Spoon the remaining dressing overtop and sprinkle with the peanuts and sesame seeds and serve.
* In Canada, this cut is popular cooked as a pot roast, ideal for a cold, wintry day. The versatility of this flavourful cut is that it can also suit a hot, humid day, served as part of this cooling salad.
* It’s best to tie the roast (or purchase it tied) for poaching, so that it doesn’t fall apart, making it difficult to slice later.
* Another option is to shred the beef while it is still hot, and then toss it in a little of the dressing before chilling to serve with the salad later.
* It truly does take 3 hours for this cut to cook, so don’t shortchange on the timing. The first 2 ½ hours the beef is letting out liquid into the broth, but that last half an hour, the beef re-absorbs the liquid, plus the flavour of the spices that cooked into the broth.