SERVES 4 – 8
This dish has its origins in the 19th century, when the lords of Hikone, an area noted for its cattle, brought beef preserved in miso to the shogun in Edo (Tokyo).
1 cup akamiso
1/2 cup mirin (sweet Japanese cooking wine)
4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
2 1-lb. sirloin steaks, 1'' thick, trimmed of excess fat
1 tbsp. brandy
10 shiso leaves, cut into chiffonade
1. Mix together akamiso and 3 tbsp. mirin in a bowl. Spread half of the miso marinade in the bottom of a 9'' baking dish. Lay a double-layered 9''-square piece of cheesecloth on marinade. Rub garlic on both sides of steaks, then place steaks on top of cheesecloth in dish. Cover steaks with a second double-layered 9''-square piece of cheesecloth, then spread remaining marinade on cheesecloth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2–5 hours.
2. About 1 hour before cooking, remove meat from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature. Brush a large nonstick skillet with oil and heat over medium-high heat. Lift cheesecloth with marinade from steaks; reserve 1/4 cup marinade and discard the rest. Sear steaks about 2 minutes per side (for rare), then transfer to a cutting board and allow to rest for about 10 minutes.
3. Deglaze skillet with 2 tbsp. water and remaining 1 tbsp. mirin over medium heat. Add brandy and cook until alcohol has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in reserved marinade, then bring to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Thinly slice steak against grain. Drizzle with sauce and garnish with shiso chiffonade.