Barbecued Meat is a Manchu dish which has now become a Beijing specialty. More than 300 years ago it was the custom for Qing officials in Beijing to go on picnics in the hills around the capital on the Double Ninth Festival (the ninth day of the ninth month of the lunar calendar). They would bring with them boiled beef or mutton, various seasonings and garnishes, and an iron pan for re-cocking the meat. In some attractive spot they would build a fire, heat the pan over it and sear the cold boiled meat iii the pan, the seared meat was then dipped into soy sauce and mashed garlic before being eaten. This dish was gradually introduced into restaurants. About eight years ago, the recipe was changed to make the meat more palatable: raw beef or mutton was cut into thin slices and marinated before searing. This kind of barbecued meat then became very popular.
The animals are raised in Dachang, Hebei Province, where mutton and beef are of high quality and very tender. Mr Wan Jinting and Wan Jinfu, the 7th generation of the Wan family pay particularly attention to the cut-ting and barbecuing. It is extremely important to have choice cuts of meat for this dish. The preparation of mutton for barbecuing is similar to the procedure for Rinsed Mutton decribed above. The beef comes from a four-or-five-year-old animal weighing 150 kilograms or more, but only some twenty kilograms of meat from the lion and chunk are used. The meat is trimmed and frozen before being cut into strips 16 cm long and 4 cm wide, which are then cut across the grain into three slices. The meat is marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, crushed ginger, wine, shrimp paste, sesame seed paste, rice vinegar and chopped coriander. The meat slices are then seared over high heat on a special barbecue grill 66 cm in diameter. The meat is very tender and has a unique flavour and aroma.
There are several famous Barbecued Meat restaurants in Beijing. Examples of these are the Kaorouji (Barbecued Meat Quarter), which opened for business in 1686, is picturesquely situated on the banks of the Shichahai (Lake of Ten Monasteries) north of Beihai Park just inside Di’anmen. It is also known for its fried lambs’ tails, fried Gansu duck and mutton Prawn shashlik. The Mufeng Barbecued Meat Restaurant, formerly known as the Barbecued Meat Garden, is located near Xuanwumen in the south-western part of the city (the Muslim centre of Beijing) and is over one hundred years old. A new Barbecued Meat Restaurant was opened in Zhongguancun in July 2002.
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