Vietnamese 'shaking beef' sandwich with fire-roasted jalapeno aioli, watercress and crispy fried onion strings

  • Preparation Time30 mins
  • Cooking Time10 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyHard

For the shaking beef

750g very thinly sliced rib-eye steak*, trimmed of any excess fat, at room temperature
1 tbsp caster sugar, divided
1 tbsp light brown sugar, divided
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
5 tbsp rapeseed oil, divided
60ml rice wine vinegar
60ml white wine
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 large red onion, medium dice
1 large red pepper, medium dice
1 jalapeno chilli (stemmed, seeded, ribs removed), small dice
2 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
4 spring onion stalks, diced

For the assembly

4 (15cm to 18cm) baguette rolls, split
Fire-rasted jalapeno aioli, recipe follows
1 large bunch or package baby watercress
1 bunch fresh coriander sprigs
1 red pepper, stem, seeds, ribs removed, julienne cut
1 cucumber, peeled, cut on diagonal into 3cm rounds
2 jalapenos, sliced very thinly (optional, but recommended)
1 large lime, cut into 8 wedges
Crispy fried onion strings, recipe follows

For the fire-roasted jalapeno aioli

4 large jalapenos
4 cloves garlic, papery outer layer still attached
Dash cayenne pepper
10g coriander leaves
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 lime, zested
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
480ml mayonnaise

For the crispy fried onion strings

Rapeseed oil, for frying
600g rice flour
4 large red onions, sliced paper-thin
Fine salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Bunch chives, minced
1) Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6. To the meat, add half the caster sugar, half the brown sugar, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper and 1 tbsp of oil. Next, combine the remaining sugars, vinegar, wine, soy sauce and fish sauce in a bowl. Taste and add salt and pepper, if needed.

2) Divide the meat into two portions. Place two large frying pans over the highest heat possible and add 1 tbsp of oil to each pan. When the oil begins to smoke, add half the meat in one layer to each pan. Let it sit until a brown crust forms, then turn to brown the other side. Browning should take approximately 2 to 3 minutes total. Set aside.

3) Drain one pan of excess oil and lightly wipe down with a paper towel. In that pan, add 2 tbsp of oil over a high heat. When the oil begins to smoke add the onion, red pepper and jalapeno chilli with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until lightly caramelized, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and spring onions and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes.

4) While the onion mixture is cooking, place the four baguettes in the oven for 1 to 2 minutes until lightly toasted and warmed through. Add the beef and vinegar mixture to the onions, and stir to combine. Taste and add additional salt and pepper, if desired. Keep warm while you assemble the sandwich.

5) To assemble each sandwich, spread one scant tbsp of aioli on both sides of the baguette. On the bottom half, add a small handful of watercress, then a quarter of the meat mixture. Top with a small handful of coriander, some julienned red pepper, a few slices of cucumber and a few slices of jalapeno chilli.

6) Serve with two lime wedges (which are meant to be squeezed over the meat right before eating), crispy fried onion strings and the additional aioli in a ramekin for dipping. Enjoy!

*Cook's Note: You can ask your butcher to thinly slice your rib-eye steak for you. Or, you can freeze your steak for 20 minutes in the freezer (which makes it easier to slice), then slice it on the bias yourself.

Fire-roasted jalapeno aioli:
1) Heat a frying pan over a high heat. Add the jalapeno chillies and garlic to the dry skillet and cook until blackened and charred on all sides, about 10 minutes. Place in a plastic bag, seal and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Then remove the stems, most of the skin, and all of the seeds and ribs from the jalapenos and the outer layer of the garlic.

2) Add the jalapenos and garlic to a food processor or blender with the remaining ingredients. Blend, taste and adjust the seasoning with additional salt, pepper and cayenne if desired. (Makes enough for 4 sandwiches, plus extra for dipping Onion Strings)

Crispy fired onion strings:
1) Fill a large heavy pan a third full of oil and heat to 180C. Line a plate with paper towels.

2) Place the flour in a large paper bag or bowl. Add the onions, toss well to coat and shake off the excess.

3) Fry the onions until golden brown (you may need to do this in two batches if your pot isn't big enough), about 4 minutes. Remove to the paper towel-lined plate and immediately sprinkle generously with salt and a touch of pepper.

4) Place a large mound of onions on each plate and top with chopped chives. Serve with a ramekin of the aioli.

A viewer, who may not be a professional cook, provided this recipe. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe and therefore we cannot make representation as to the results.

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