Beef Kushiyaki: Santa Maria Style – Willow Creek Wine Collective
By Winemakers & Proprietors, Natalie & Brian Brown
Wine Pairing: 2020 Willow Creek Soubrette Vernacular Red Blend – 60% Petite Sirah (estate grown), 20% Zinfandel 15% Grenache, 5% Syrah
We put a little Central Coast twist on this classic Japanese comfort food. We’re using the tri-tip cut of meat, which is a staple item in “Santa Maria Style” grilling. If tri-tip is not available in your area, flank steak is a good substitute. Also central to this method of grilling is the use of red oak as fuel that gives the meat a wonderful sweet smoky flavor. Lastly, we are using a little Susie Q’s Seasoning which is prolific on the Central Coast. It is a blend of garlic, salt, pepper, and dried parsley.
Makes ~5 skewers
1 lb of beef Tri-tip
¾ cup of soy sauce
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup aromatic white wine – Rococo Chenin Blanc works great!
1/3 cup of sugar
¾ cup finely sliced scallions
1 tbs of ginger powder
2 tbs sesame seeds
2 cloves of garlic, diced
2 tsp of Susie Q’s Brand Santa Maria Style Seasoning
Optional – Dashes of sesame oil to taste
1) Soak skewers in water
2) Combine soy sauce, vinegar, wine, sugar, ½ cup of scallions, Susie Q’s seasoning, and ginger powder into a pot and heat to dissolve the sugar.
3) Let mixture cool.
4) Slice beef into ¼ inch thin strips.
6) Start the oak burning enough ahead of time so that you have a good bed of coals.
5) Once soy sauce mixture has cooled, add beef and tap meat down to make sure that all of the meat is submerged. Cover and place in refrigerator to marinate for at least two hours.
6) Skewer beef – we like to loosely “stitch” the beef onto the skewers. As you are stitching, take care not to bunch the meat up on the stick. The thickness across the skewer should be as consistent as possible so that the meat cooks evenly. It is important to make sure the tips of the meat pieces are securely attached to the stick so that the meat doesn’t rotate while cooking. Once the meat is skewered, lightly sprinkle with Santa Maria Rub.
7) Cook over coals until the desired finish is reached. Because the meat is sliced thin it will cook quickly.
Grilling over an oak fire, we cooked the kushiyaki for about six minutes, flipping halfway through. Garnish with sesame seeds and sliced green onions.