Flank steak is a lean, somewhat tough but flavorful cut of beef that benefits from the tenderizing effects of a marinade. It is best cooked medium rare and thinly sliced at an angle across the grain of the meat.
Prepared this way, marinated, cooked quickly at high heat, thinly sliced, flank steak practically melts in your mouth. This recipe calls for grilling the steak, but if you don’t have a grill, you can prepare the steak on a large cast iron frying pan as well.
Americans have a curious way of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. We pinch each other if we forget to wear something green, we make green foods regardless if they have anything to do with Ireland, and we adapt traditional Irish recipes to our own taste.
The last is the case with this Irish beef stew. As any Irish person will tell you, lamb is the preferred meat for a good Irish stew. But here in the states we eat a lot more beef than lamb, so when we want to make a stew to celebrate all things Irish, it’s usually done with beef.
Christmas might be over but the entertaining may not be – we still have one or two more celebrations coming up.
If you are planning a New Year’s Eve party, small bites that are easy to prepare (and can be made in advance) are the way to go, in my opinion.
I love these Thai meatballs – they are packed with flavor and you can make them a day ahead, then just reheat them before serving. To make the sauce nut free but still have that lovely “peanut sauce” flavor, I used creamy Sunbutter in this easy dipping sauce.
Personally, I plan to forgo any parties this New Year’s Eve. I am just going to make these meatballs, open up a bottle of Prosecco, and enjoy a quiet evening at home – my favorite place to be sometimes.
I hope you have fun this New Year’s, whatever you decide to do!
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Gluten Free Thai Meatballs with Nut Free Dipping Sauce
½ cup creamy Sunbutter
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons tamari or gluten free soy sauce
Juice of 2 limes
1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce (more or less to taste)
1/3 – ½ cup coconut milk
1 ½ pounds ground beef
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, deveined, and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 green onions, minced
¼ cup minced fresh basil leaves (Thai basil if you can find it)
¼ cup minced fresh mint leaves
3 tablespoons coconut cream (remove the cream from the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk)
1 ½ teaspoons kosher or fine sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Finely grated zest of 2 limes
Gluten free non-stick cooking spray
Prepare the sauce:
Combine all the ingredients except the coconut milk in a saucepan. Add 1/3 cup coconut milk and heat over low heat just until all the ingredients are fully combined. Thin out the sauce with a little more coconut milk, if needed. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Can be made 2 – 3 days ahead.
Make the meatballs:
In a large mixing bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients except the cooking spray.
Preheat the broiler and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray the parchment with cooking spray.
Roll tablespoonfuls of meatball mixture into balls and place on the prepared baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray and broil 8 – 10 minutes or until browned and cooked through but still juicy.
Can be made 1 – 2 days ahead and reheated.
Serve with the dipping sauce.
Makes about 40 meatballs, depending on size.
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