Did you know there are five basic tastes? Sweet, sour, salty, bitter . . . and . . . umami. Yes, that's right, umami. A Japanese word, Umami (oo-MOM-ee) is a savory/meaty taste . Since we're on the subject of beef, you would be correct to assume the umami taste is found in beef. Additional umami-rich foods include red wine, tomatoes, mushrooms, cheese, soy sauce, truffles (not the chocolate kind), potatoes, seafood, and more.
When umami-rich foods are paired together, a magnification of flavors occurs, which explains why beef is commonly paired with many of the foods listed above.
My daily dose of umami came in the form of Bistro Beef Kabobs, another recipe from the Healthy Beef Cookbook. While this recipe may not be at the very top of my all-time favorites list, it is good - and extremely easy to prepare (unless you have an irrational fear of using the broiler, as I do . . . more on that later).
Bistro Beef Kabobs
1 1/4 lb. boneless beef sirloin steak, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tsp. vegetable oil
2 tsp. coarse-grain Dijon-style mustard
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. black pepper
Combine oil, mustard, vinegar, garlic, and pepper in a medium bowl; add beef and toss to coat.
Thread equal amounts of beef onto four 12-inch metal skewers, leaving a small space between each piece. Place kabobs on rack in broiler pan; broil 8-10 minutes (for medium-rare to medium beef), turning occasionally. Let stand a few moments before serving. Enjoy with a glass of red wine, which will enhance the umami . . . okay, that wasn't really in the instructions. But it should have been!
The recipe calls for serving the kabobs with broccoli pilaf . . . but Ken would probably be scared off by the name alone, so I didn't make the broccoli pilaf. Consequently, I'm not sure about the nutrition facts for the kabobs on their own. I also substituted tri-tip steak for the sirloin, and regular Dijon mustard instead of coarse-grain Dijon mustard, because that's what I had in stock.