An aromatic member of the Laurel family, Bay Leaf is native to Asia minor and its cultivation spread through the Mediterranean and areas with similar warm climates. It has a long history in cultural, culinary and medicinal use. In ancient Greece and Rome, this highly prized leaf was considered a symbol of accolade and used to adorn Emperors and poets, and as well as the triumphant warriors and athletes. In culinary, it is quite versatile when used for food seasonings. It has a warm scent when the leaf is broken, it became more noticeable, releasing its fragrant oil.
With its versatile usage in the culinary world, this herb has made its mark. Try this Filipino-American cuisine, Bistek with Onion and Bay Leaves.
- 2 1-inch-thick boneless rib-eye steaks, excess fat trimmed
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided
- 8 fresh bay leaves
- 1 large white onion, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- Kosher salt
- Slice steaks in half lengthwise. Following natural seams in meat, cut each halt into 2-3 pieces and set aside.
- Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium. Add bay leaves; cook until beginning to brown around the edges, about 1 minute. Add onion and 1/2 cup water. Cover skillet (use a baking sheet if you don't have a lid) and cook until onion is partly tender; it should have lost it raw bite but still have some crunch, about 5 minutes. Transfer onion and bay leaves to a plate with a slotted spatula or tongs.
- Increase heat to medium-high and bring remaining liquid in skillet to a boil. Cook until only 2 Tsbp remains. Scrape into a small bowl and stir in lemon and soy sauce. Set sauce aside.
- Wipe out skill and heat remaining 1 Tbsp oil in skillet over medium-high. Season reserved meat with salt. Working in batches, cook meat undisturbed until dark brown, about 2 minutes. Turn and cook until second side is lightly browned, about 45 seconds. Transfer to a platter.
- Reduce heat to medium (let skillet cool a little if it is very hot) and cook reserved sauce in skillet just to let flavors meld, about 1 minute. Add 1-2 Tbsp water if sauce is too concentrated. Pour over meat and top with onion and bay leaves.