Gordon’s Chilli Beef Lettuce Wraps
Olive oil, for frying
200g lean minced beef
200g minced pork
Toasted sesame oil, for frying
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
5cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1–2 red chillies, deseeded and chopped
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
Zest of 1 lime, juice of ¹/³
3 spring onions, trimmed and chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 little gem lettuces, separated into leaves, to serve
For the Dressing
1 tbsp soy sauce
Juice of ½ lime
1 tsp sesame oil
½ red chilli, thinly sliced
Small bunch of coriander leaves, chopped
1–2 tsp fish sauce, to taste
1 tsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
1. Heat a large frying pan and add a little oil. Mix the minced beef and pork together. Season with salt and pepper and mix well to ensure the seasoning is evenly distributed. Fry the mince in the hot pan for 5–7 minutes until crisp and brown and broken down to a fine consistency. Drain the crisped mince in a sieve – this will help it stay crispy. Set aside.
2. Wipe out the pan and add a tablespoon of toasted sesame oil. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli. Fry with a pinch of salt and the sugar for 2 minutes. Add the drained mince and stir to mix.
3. Add the fish sauce and heat through. Stir in the lime zest and juice, then add the spring onions, stirring for 30 seconds. Turn off the heat.
4. Mix all the dressing ingredients together and adjust to taste.
5. To serve, spoon some of the mince mixture into the lettuce leaves, drizzle with a little dressing and serve.
Memorial Day marks the official opening of American grilling season, and what better way to celebrate than with this unique, and delicious flap meat? Hilarious name notwithstanding, this classic “butcher’s cut” is every bit as flavorful and tender as flank or skirt steak, and is usually cheaper as well.
This is not something they keep in the meat case, so you’ll have to ask them to cut you a few pounds, but it’ll be worth it, and they’ll think you’re cool. Most people haven’t heard of flap meat or flap steak, but it’s hardly an exotic cut.
If you like Mexican food, and order carne asada,you’ve enjoyed grilled flap meat. While it did make for some extremely tasty Asian-style lettuce wraps, you can use this in so many other wonderful ways. Half the fun is playing around with different marinades and spices, but regardless of how you flavor yours, you should try this in tacos, as well as for an amazing Philly cheesesteak.
Just be sure to get that grill really hot before you slap down your flap. This needs to be cooked hot and fast, and as close to the coals as you can get. Since everyone asks, I’m using a charcoal Weber “Q,” which is unfortunately not made anymore. Hey Weber, please make this grill again. Thank you. Anyway, if you’re looking for a fun, new meat for your Memorial Day cookout, I hope you give this grilled flap meat a try. Enjoy!
Ingredients for about 4 portions:
2 pounds flap meat
2 tbsp green curry paste, or as needed
2-3 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp coconut milk
salt if neededLettuce, carrots, red onions, chopped peanuts, and cilantro leaves for salad–Marinate for 4-12 hours in fridge, or an hour out at room temp.
*For the dressing, into the reserved meat juices, I added sambal, fish sauce, and rice vinegar to taste. I didn’t measure anything, and neither should you. Taste, adjust, repeat.