Satay is typically served with peanut sauce, and many people think the sauce itself is “satay,” when traditionally the name refers only to skewered marinated grilled meat. In this case the meat is beef and there is no dipping sauce at all. Rather, the meat is marinated in fish sauce and pineapple juice, which seasons and tenderizes the meat (pineapple contains bromelain, a natural meat tenderizer). After it is grilled, it is basted with basil butter, which glazes the crispy grilled beef with a delicate herbal perfume.
Prep: 10 minutes
(plus 5 minutes for sauce)
Marinate: 1 hour
Grill: 6 to 8 minutes.
BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– 12 long bamboo skewers
– 12 small pieces aluminum foil
– Long-handled tongs or grill mitts
– Long-handled basting brush.
Gas: Direct heat, medium-high (425° to 450°F)
Clean, oiled grate
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch bed, 3 to 4 inches deep
Clean, oiled grate set 2 inches above the fire.
INGREDIENTS (MAKES 4 SERVINGS)
1½ pounds boneless beef short ribs
¼ cup pineapple juice
2/3 cup Vietnamese Dipping Sauce (page 398)
2 tablespoons salted butter
½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves (about 20), preferably Thai basil
Oil for coating grill grate.
1. Put the bamboo skewers in a roasting pan and add enough water to cover.
2. Cut the beef into ¼-inch-thick slices (about 24 slices). Toss with the pineapple juice and ¼ cup of the dipping sauce in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
3. Heat the grill as directed.
4. Arrange 2 beef slices on each skewer, threading the skewer through the length of each slice 2 to 3 times to secure it as flat as possible. Wrap a piece of foil around the exposed end of each skewer.
5. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the prepared skewers on the grill, cover, and grill until browned on one side, about 2 minutes. Turn and brush with a thin layer of the remaining dipping sauce; grill for 2 minutes. Turn and brush with more sauce; grill for 1 minute. Turn and grill for 1 minute more. Transfer to a serving plate.
6. As soon as the beef is done cooking, melt the butter in a small skillet. Add the basil leaves and stir until wilted, a few seconds. Brush onto the beef. Serve 3 skewers per person.