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"Texas is world-renowned for barbecuing a mean brisket, the flat and fatty slab of meat, cut from the cow's lower chest," says Stone. "Cooking a simply seasoned brisket low and slow on a smoker (or kettle barbecue when barbecuing at home), gradually rendering the gummy white fat while simultaneously infusing smoky flavour into the meat, is a labour of love. Although time-consuming, briskets are not difficult to cook. And while you'll note that this one takes a whopping 12 hours to cook, don't be alarmed if your brisket needs another hour or so - this timing is an approximation, and greatly depends on the size of your brisket and heat of your barbecue." The brisket can also be cooked in an oven (see note).

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"Store-bought and pre-cut coleslaws, and bottled dressings have given the humble slaw a lacklustre rep over the years," says Stone. "Taking a little time (just 10 minutes!) to whip one up yourself reminds us why this salad became popular in the first place. This creamy, crunchy coleslaw comes together in a pinch and can be piled atop a thick piece of brisket or served as a side."

Vietnamese lemon grass beef and rice noodle salad


You'll need

2 golden shallots, finely chopped 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2 stalks lemon grass, finely chopped 80 ml (1/3 cup) fish sauce 450 gm beef sirloin, cut into strips 2 small red chillies, finely chopped 55 gm (¼ cup) white sugar 70 ml lime juice 60 ml (¼ cup) rice vinegar 250 gm fresh rice sheet noodles 1 iceberg lettuce, cut into thin wedges 2 Lebanese cucumbers, cut into julienne 1 carrot, cut into julienne 50 gm bean sprouts 1½ cups (loosely packed) coriander leaves 1½ cups (loosely packed) Vietnamese mint leaves To serve: roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Method

  • 01
  • Combine shallot, 3 cloves of garlic and lemongrass in a mortar and, using a pestle, pound to a coarse paste. Add 1 tbsp fish sauce, season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and pound to combine. Place beef and lemongrass paste in a non-reactive bowl, toss to coat, cover with plastic wrap and marinate for 1 hour.
  • 02
  • Combine remaining garlic and fish sauce, chilli, sugar, lime juice and vinegar and stir until sugar dissolves. Set dressing aside.
  • 03
  • Place rice noodles in a heat-proof bowl, pour over boiling water and stir using chopsticks to separate noodles. Drain, refresh in cold water, then drain again.
  • 04
  • Thread beef onto bamboo skewers which have been soaked in water for 10 minutes. Heat a chargrill pan over high heat and cook beef skewers for 1-2 minutes on each side.
  • 05
  • Combine noodles, lettuce, cucumber, carrot, bean sprouts and herbs in a large bowl. Remove beef from skewers, add to bowl, drizzle with dressing and toss to combine, divide among bowls, scatter with peanuts and serve immediately.

Rice noodles
It seems every Asian cuisine has its own version of a rice noodle, whether fresh or dried. Semi-transparent rice vermicelli are made from rice flour paste. They’re sold in bundles, cooked quickly and make an appearance in spring rolls, soups and stir-fries, providing textural drama when deep-fried. Rice sticks are thicker than rice vermicelli and are available in a variety of widths. Perhaps their most popular incarnation is as the basis of pad Thai. Fresh, round rice noodles, ranging from the very fine to those that are as thick as a Hokkien noodle, take a star turn in Malaysia’s laksa. Fresh noodles cut into ribbons from fresh rice sheets are used in Vietnamese beef noodle soup, Malaysian stir-fries and Cantonese hor fun. We’ve included them in this lemongrass beef and noodle salad, where their silky, slippery texture contrasts with fresh herbs and crunchy peanuts.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

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