Flank is one of those wonderful flavourful cuts of meat that
suits low and slow barbecuing. You could serve this with sticky
2 tbsplight soy sauce2 tbspkecap manis2flank steaks (1kg each)1 tbspgrapeseed oil6heirloom tomatoes, such as red and yellow oxhearts, thickly sliced2golden shallots, thinly sliced1 cup(loosely packed) Thai basilFried shallotsFor shallow-frying:grapeseed oil6golden shallotsChilli-tamarind dressing75 gmtamarind pulp, dissolved in 100ml boiling water3garlic cloves8small red birdseye chillies, chopped80 ml(1/3 cup) grapeseed oil4red shallots finely chopped100 gmdark palm sugar, crushed100 mlfish sauce, or to tasteJuiceof 3 limes, or to taste
Combine light soy, kecap manis and 200ml water in a small roasting pan, add flank steaks, cover tightly with foil and barbecue over low heat, turning steak occasionally and adding more water to the pan if it starts to dry out, until the meat can be pulled apart easily (2 hours). Remove steak from pan, brush with oil and char-grill over high heat until caramelised (5-10 minutes). Set aside.
For fried shallots, heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat, add shallots and stir continuously until golden (2-4 minutes). Drain and set aside.
For chilli-tamarind dressing, strain tamarind pulp in a coarse sieve, pressing to extract all liquid. Set aside and discard solids. Pound garlic and a large pinch of sea salt to a paste with a mortar and pestle. Add chillies and pound to a coarse paste. Sauté chilli paste and shallots in grapeseed oil in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until caramelised (10-15 minutes). Add palm sugar and stir occasionally until fragrant and the sugar is caramelised (3-5 minutes). Add fish sauce and tamarind liquid, remove from heat, cool briefly, then add lime juice and season to taste; it should be hot, sweet and sour.
Shred steaks and arrange on a platter with tomatoes, and fresh and fried shallots. Drizzle with half the dressing, and scatter with Thai basil. Serve with remaining dressing on the side.