Summer is the perfect time of year to enjoy crisp vegetables spiked with chilli, lime, ginger and garlic, topped with tender slices of beef.
1 Trim away fat or silverskin from beef, then tie with string so that it holds its shape while cooking. Heat oil in a heavy-based casserole over medium-high heat, and when oil is nice and hot add beef and brown well on both sides. Sprinkle generously with salt and grind over plenty of black pepper. Transfer casserole to an oven preheated to 200°C (400°F) and roast for 15 minutes, turning once. Remove meat from oven, cool, then cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or more. Slice beef thinly, stack the slices in a container, cover with plastic food wrap and refrigerate; the beef will regain its red colour when it is taken from the refrigerator and the slices are separated.
2 To make the dressing, mix the vegetable oil in a bowl with the lime juice, fish sauce, salt, sugar, garlic, ginger juice and chilli. Peel the limes with a serrated knife, then slice between each piece of membrane and release the lime fillets. Cut them into small pieces and add to the dressing along with any juice; squeeze the juice from the membrane into the bowl as well.
3 To prepare the vegetables, first blanch the snow peas by dropping them into a saucepan of gently boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain and rinse with cold water until cool, then pat dry. If cooking sugar snaps, leave them in the water for 2 minutes. Put the lettuce, snow peas or sugar snaps, bean sprouts, if using, and cucumber in a large bowl and scatter over most of the herbs. Spoon some dressing over the salad. Toss well and serve into 6 bowls. Arrange the beef on top of the salads, scatter with the rest of the herbs and spoon the rest of the dressing over. Toss each salad lightly and serve immediately.
Read about Touch Test for Beef
Photography Aaron McLean http://www.aaronmclean.com