It sure was a lucky evening last night, to be in the presence of so many fabulous people and delicious food. When I was invited to the Meatluck—a meat-centric potluck that was organized and hosted by the wonderful Joel Solish (@foodie411), I was extremely excited. How could I say no to great company and good food?
I mean, just feast your eyes on a small sample of the menu… Beth’s beef brisket with green pea puree and horseradish on chips.
Helena’s scalloped potatoes with smoked chicken, and Ben’s sandwiches in the back with pork and spicy mayo.
Darryl’s bacon apple pie. You will never want apple pie any other way after having a bite of this.
…and Nina’s awesome sponge cake topped with blackberry reduction, whipped cream and seared foie gras.
Joel was smart to assign everyone a course by picking names out of a hat. This way, we wouldn't end up with all mains or all desserts (and we saw how well all that sugar went at Foodiemeet Bakeoff last month!). The aftermath of meatluck…
By the end of the evening, we were a room full of comatose foodies. Stuffed, boozed, and in great company, we were happy and content.
Being assigned a main dish, my contribution to the meatluck was Bulgogi Tacos. Bulgogi tacos are quite popular down in the states, where they have bulgogi taco trucks like Kogi Korea BBQ in LA, or Seoul on Wheels in San Fran. This inspired me to make my own and set up a bulgogi taco bar station at the potluck.
I topped my tacos with red leaf lettuce tossed in a sesame-soy vinaigrette, julienned carrots and cucumbers, and ssamjang, the popular dipping sauce that is a staple at Korean barbecue. It’s always fun when two cultures meet at the dining table, and this marriage of East meets West works so well together.
To view some more meatluck photos, visit my Flickr page (vegetarians beware!).
Serves about 6 to 8
2 lbs beef sirloin or rib-eye, thinly sliced
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1/4 to 1/2 Korean pear, or 1 small Asian pear, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
4 to 6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 brown sugar
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp sesame, toasted
Soft corn tortillas, warmed **
If your beef isn’t already pre-sliced, then throw your meat into the freezer for a couple of hours. This will make it easier for you to slice the meat thinly. Place the sliced meat in a freezer bag and set aside.
In a food processor, add the onion, pear, garlic and ginger. Pulse until finely minced. Set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk soy sauce, sugar and honey. Add the minced onion mixture and stir to combine. Pour the marinade over the meat in the bag, add the sesame oil, and seal the bag well. Massage the meat with the marinade, and then place in the fridge. Marinate for at least 2 hours, and up to 24 hours.
Heat a grill or cast iron pan over medium-high heat and add a bit of vegetable oil. When the pan is hot enough, add your meat to the pan (you may have to cook the meat in batches) and cook until done, about 2 to 3 minutes. Dish up and cook the remaining meat.
Sprinkle cooked bulgogi with toasted sesame, and serve with warm tortillas, lettuce, julienned carrots and cucumbers, and ssamjang.
** Use large flour tortillas and you’ll have Bulgogi Fajitas!
4 tbsp light soy sauce
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 tbsp ginger, finely minced
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 to 2 tbsp honey, to taste
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/3 cup canola oil
Whisk all the ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Set aside.
Sssamjang (Korean “Salsa”)
4 tbsp gochujang
2 tbsp soybean paste or miso
1 tbsp honey
1/2 small Asian pear, grated
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tbsp soju or sake
Water, to loosen the sauce
In a bowl, whisk all the ingredients together except of the water. If the sauce is still too thick, whisk in water, a teaspoon at a time, until you get a consistency that allows you to drizzle the sauce onto your tacos.