In some countries there is a social taboo against hippophagy – the eating of horse meat – but in modern Japan it is a common sight on restaurant menus, even as sashimi. They say best horsemeat comes from the large draught horses of Kumamoto and, if you’re game to try it, the meat tastes very similar to beef, although slightly lighter, sweeter and more delicate.
- 400 g horse rump or beef rump tri-tip
- salt and pepper
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- shaved onion, salad leaves, grated horseradish, to serve
- 75 ml mirin
- 75 ml sake
- 30 g caster sugar
- 150 ml soy sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Marinating time 2 hours
To make the tataki marinade, place the mirin, sake and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the soy sauce. Allow to cool, then stir through the crushed garlic just before using.
Heat a large saucepan of water to 60°C, checking the temperature with a thermometer. Alternatively, if you have one you can use an immersion circulator set to the desired temperature. (If using beef, set the temperature to 55°C.)
Bring the rump to room temperature, and season well with salt and pepper. Rub with the crushed garlic and seal in a vacuum bag (or wrap tightly in three layers of plastic wrap.
Place the meat into the water bath and keep at a constant temperature for 20 minutes. Flip the meat over and continue to cook for 20 minutes.
Remove the meat and unwrap it. Heat a heavy-based frying pan until very hot. Lightly oil the pan, then sear the rump until it is well browned all over.
Pour most of the tataki marinade onto a tray, reserving a little to serve. Add the horse rump to the tray. Chill in the fridge, turning occasionally, for at least 2 hours.
Slice the meat thinly across the grain and serve on a bed of shaved onion and a few salad leaves. Drizzle over a little of the reserved tataki marinade and serve with horseradish.