Before looking for dishes for this GP I didn’t really have much of an idea of what Korean food was. A quick search revealed a nation that loves its BBQ and its beef so Bulgogi seemed the quintessential meal to make. Bulgogi actually means ‘fire meat’ and refers to the method of cooking since the chicken, beef and pork versions each have a different marinade.
The beef version consists of sirloin or rump steaks marinated for several hours and then grilled or BBQ’ed. It was recently voted number 23 in CNN’s 50 most delicious foods, so even though I had never heard of it before it must be pretty popular!
I was making enough marinade for two bits of meat, although seeing what it made I think it would also coat 3 very well and 4 at a push! The marinade consisted of:
- 2 cloves of garlic – crushed
- Approximately 1 inch cubed of ginger – grated
- 1 very large spring onion (2/3 normal spring onions) finely chopped
- 50ml of soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- ½ tablespoon of sesame seed oil
- 1 tablespoon of coarsely crushed black peppercorns.
These were all mixed in a bowl. I then scored my steaks (a little too thickly if I’m honest – I made more of a slash than a score!) and placed them in the marinade where they stayed for 3 hours. They went in the fridge for 3 hours but I got the mix out half an hour before cooking so it could get to room temperature.
To cook the meat I used a very hot grill pan as I don’t have a BBQ (plus it wasn’t really the weather for cooking outide!). Most pictures I’ve seen of this dish have the meat cooked through, but personally I hate fully cooked beef unless it’s been stewed for several hours, so my steaks were cooked for ¾ minutes each side so that they were caramelized on the outside and pink in the middle.
After cooking I let the steaks rest for a little while and then sliced them up. I served the steak with some Thai jasmine rice and poured the cooking juices from the resting plate over the top to give a little sauce.
This was another really fragrant dish. I was worried from the colour of the marinade that the say sauce might be overpowering but in the end it was quite mild. There was no chilli but the black pepper gave everything a nice mellow heat. The grill pan had cooked the meat nicely, but you could tell that the smokeyness of a real BBQ would have really enhanced the flavours that were there.
Now that the World Championship is over, it was thought that Vettel might give everyone a chance at winning. The young German champion, however, had no intention of doing so. The out of form Lewis Hamilton, who has struggled for at least half the season, raised his game and managed to put the Mclaren on pole, closely followed by Vettel and then team-mate Jenson Button.
Vettel blew past Hamilton on the first lap and then was unassailable in the lead. Lewis and Red Bull’s Mark Webber then joined a great race-long battle for second place, including through the pit-stops, which Lewis won by holding Mark off for at least fifty laps. Both drivers, despite a gripping battle, looked upset at the their lack of success at the race’s end.
Meanwhile, the unfancied Torro Rosso team managed to get both cars in the points, beating one of the Mercedes cars on pace. Michael Schumacher once more got taken out, this time by Visaly Petrov who missed his braking point down into turn seven and destroyed his own car as well. All in all, a surprisingly hard fought race. No rain like last year though…