Mogolian Barbecue

A truly native meal, typical of the diet of the rugged Mogolian nomad. The thin-sliced meat is dipped in a spicy sauce, quickly grilled and then wrapped in a sesame roll. A gruel-like millet soup is eaten between sandwiches, and the meal is topped off with draughts of heated sorghum whiskey. Transposed to the West, this meal is ideal for an outdoor barbecue.

Millet soup
1/2 cup millet
lamb bones
10 cups cold water
2 pounds boneless lamb taken form the upper part of the leg
2 pounds boneless beef sirloin
2 cups slivered green onion(cut in half lengthwise and sliced diagonally into 1/2-inch sections)
2 cups chinese parsley leaves

1 cup thin soy sauce
1/2 cup chinese red vinegar
1/2 cup rice wine
1/2 cup fresh ginger juice
2 tablespoons flower pepper*
1/4 cup hot pepper oil
1/4 cup seseme oil
2 tablespoons garlic paste

Soak the millet overnight in cold water. The next morning, put the lamb bones in a large pot. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for several hours, adding water to maintain the original volume. Skim off the fat, remove the bones and strain the stock. Drain the milllet, rinse several times, add to the stock and simmer slowly for 1 to 2 hours, or until the grains break up and the soup is thickened. Salt to taste. Turn off the heat and set aside.

While the stock is simmering, trim off all fat and skin from the beef and lamb. Wrap the meat well and place in the freezer for 2 to 3 hours or until it becomes firm, but not frozen hard. (This makes it easier to slice the meat very thinly.)

Using a very sharp knife or cleaver, carefully cut against the grain of the meat to make slices about 1/8 inch thick. Cut each slice into strips about 2 by 4 inches. Arange the beef and lamb in layers on separate plates. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Put the green onion and parsley in separate bowls, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Put each dip ingredient in a separate bowl, place he bowls on a large tray, cover and set aside.

Prepare the rolls
2 cups lukewarm milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cakes compressed yeast
2 large beaten eggs
1/2 cup melted shortening
7 cups flour
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
1/4 cup sesame seeds

Mix the milk, sugar and salt together in a large bowl. Crumble the yeast and mix it in. Stir in the eggs and shortening. Using a whip, beat until foamy. Add flour in 3 or 4 parts, stirring well after each addition. (The dough should be slightly sticky, but workable.) Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead gently a few times. Put it in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and keep in a warm, draft-free place for about 1 hour, or until it has doubled in volume.

On the floured board, roll the dough into a large retangular piece abut 10 by 35 inches. Then slice into strips about 2 by 7 inches. Fold each strip in half so the rolls measure about 2 by 3-1/2 inches. Brush molasses on top of each roll and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Place the rolls about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake in a 375 degrees oven for 15 to 20 mnutes. The rolls are ready when they have risen and are firm and golden-brown on top. Place the rolls in a large bassket or on a tray and cover with a cloth to keep warm. Makes 25 rolls.

Serving the barbecue
While the dough is rising, start a fire in your barbecue grill. By the time the rolls are baked the fire should be very hot. Place the grill about 3 inches from the hot coals.

When ready to serve the meal, bring out the hot soup, meat platters, greens, dip tray and rolls.

Each person fills a bowl with any combination of dip ingredients to make his own sauce creation, then dips a slice of meat into the sauce and quickly cooks it on the hot grill just long enough to lightly scorch the meat on each side. A roll is split open and the meat sandwiched into it, garnished with greens.

The bowl of soup served between sandwiches is made purposely bland to contrast with the spicy meats and pungent greens. The choice of mats and variety of sauces and seasonings offer a challenge to each diner to find the "perfect" blend

*flower pepper (fagara or Szech'uan pepper) a pungent reddish-brown pepper corn sold loose or in 1-ounce plastic bas in chinese groceries; used in marinades, seasonings and coatings. As a dip, flower pepper is crused with a martar and pestle and lightly pan-toasted (without oil) with a double portion of kosher salt until fragrant. Be careful not to burn the mixture.

This article on mogolian barbecue is taken from
The People's Republic of China Cookbook by Nobuko Sakamoto published by Random House in 1977

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