Winter drags on and the grill is still encased in snow and ice. I've let that put me into a bit of a rut as far as cooking goes, with the usual beef and fish entrees starting to get a little stale, so to speak. Then last week I remembered the wok sitting in the back of the lower cupboard and dusted that bad boy off.
Last week it was chicken fried rice. Today I pulled out an old recipe for Mandarin beef that I haven't made in some time. Quite a few recipes for that call for actual oranges or orange juice, but the one I used from an old Betty Crocker cookbook doesn't and I prefer it that way.
Here it is:
1 pound boneless beef sirloin steak or round steak
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 green onions , (with tops)
1 , large green bell pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger root
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
3/4 cup shredded carrot
1 teaspoon chili paste
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
Directions: Trim fat from beef steak cut beef lengthwise into 2-inch strips.
Cut strips crosswise into 1/8-inch slices. Stack slices and cut lengthwise into thin strips.
Toss beef, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, the cornstarch, salt, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, the sugar and white pepper in medium bowl.
Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Cut green onions diagonally into 2-inch pieces. Cut bell pepper into 1/8-inch strips.
Heat wok until very hot. Add 1/4 cup vegetable oil tilt wok to coat side.
Add beef, gingerroot and garlic stir-fry 3 minutes or until beef is brown.
Add bell pepper, carrot and chili paste stir-fry 1 minute.
Stir in green onions and 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce Stir-fry 30 seconds.
Cutting the steak up is the most time-consuming part of the prep work, but overall it's a simple and fairly quick meal to make. I serve it over white rice since that's what I prefer, but whatever floats your boat. The recipe says it makes four servings, but it really seems like three to me. If I were cooking for four I would pump up the beef and vegetable amounts a little and make 2.5-3 cups of rice.
You don't have to have a wok to make it work either. Any 5-quart or so skillet that can handle high temps and non-stick will do the trick.
Delicious, but not too spicy. You can add more chili paste if you want to spice it up more, but be careful. A little of that stuff goes a long way.