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Advocates: Into the Fire

Advocates: Into the Fire


BBQing, Hanger Steak Recipe, Wines for Your Grilled Feast

Chef Anita Lo has never met a cut of meat, fish, or vegetable that couldn't use a bit of char

Gathering around the grill in summer is something I look forward to all through the other seasons of the year. The combination of friends, food, and fire, along with a good dose of sun and cold beer or crisp wine, is a surefire recipe for happiness.

Barbecue means different things to different people. Depending on where you live, it can mean a dry rub or wet marinade, with or without a vinegary sauce based on ketchup or mustard, but generally barbecue refers to a long, slow cooking process over smoking wood. (In the South, if it's over charcoal, it's "grilling.")

Being a cultural mutt, I find it only natural to meld culinary traditions from just about anywhere. Though a barbecuing Southerner may take issue, Texas-style and Korean barbecue have much in common: Lesser cuts of beef such as short ribs are cooked with a highly spiced sweet-and-sticky sauce. Bulgogi, a traditional Korean barbecue that inspires the accompanying recipe, marries the sweetness of sugar and scallion, the spiciness of black pepper and raw garlic, and the earthiness of toasted sesame to create perfectly charred beef with the sugars caramelizing the outside of the meat. Classically, one would wrap this barbecue in lettuce leaves with more garlic, miso paste, and chili, but I've been known to make a sandwich out of it like they do in Texas: sliced, straight off my backyard grill, served alongside another American classic, coleslaw, which shares its roots with the Korean staple kimchi.

RECIPEGrilled Hanger Steak With Korean Flavors

Ingredients: Two 6-ounce cleaned hanger steaks (or substitute skirt steak) Marinade: 1/4 cup soy sauce 1/4 cup sugar 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic 1 tablespoon finely chopped scallion white 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds Freshly ground black pepper and salt

Method: Marinate the steak: Mix the marinade ingredients together and pour over hanger steaks. Allow to sit covered in the refrigerator at least four hours (up to eight hours), turning once halfway through.

To serve: Remove the hanger steaks from the marinade and scrape off any excess. Season with black pepper and a little bit of salt. Rub both sides with a little vegetable oil and grill to desired temperature.

PAIRINGSWines to complement your grilled feast

Parson's Flat, 2004, Padthaway, AustraliaThe pepper notes and good acidity of this shiraz-cabernet sauvignon blend are good foils for the charred sweetness of the hanger steak. Look for hints of truffle, chocolate, and juicy, stewed fruits. About $40.

Le Plan Classic Red, 2007, Rhone Valley, FranceThis predominantly grenache blend by winemaker Ann Vermeersch is a steal at around $15 per bottle. It is everything you'd want in a red Rhone: spicy and balanced, with plummy fruit, good acid, and medium tannins.

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