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Beef in Wulong Tea, SERVES 4

2 (10-ounce/300 g) pieces of sirloin.
Salt and pepper, to taste.
2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil.
6 to 7 tablespoons (90 to 105 ml) butter.
1 cup (250 ml) water.
2 tablespoons (30 ml) wulong tea (such Shui Xian, Mi Lan Xjang or Qi Lan Xiang).

1. Season the pieces of beef with salt and pepper to taste. Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat until it smokes. Add the olive oil and 4 tablespoons (60 ml) of butter.
2. Place the pieces of beef in the skillet and cook until a crust forms, around 3 or 4 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the-beef. Place the beef in a cold oven for 2 to 3 minutes, depending on the desired degree of doneness. Remove the beef from the skillet Set aside.
3. Wipe excess fat from the skillet Melt 2 or 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 ml) of butter and cook until it turns hazelnut brown. Deglaze with waten scraping the bottom of the skillet to recover any browned bits of the meat. Reduce the liquid by half and add the wulong tea. Leave to infuse for 2 to 3 minutes, then pour through a fine strainer. Bring the mixture back to a boil and whisk.
4. Slice the beef and serve with the wulong-flavored drippings.
5. Serve the meat with a vegetable puree and seasonal onions.

In our grandmothers' time it was customary to deglaze a pan with tea, often a strong black tea, and so this is an affectionate nod to our ancestors and their traditional knowledge.

• Shui Xian
• Nilgiri Coonoor
• Yunnan