Saturday, January 5, 2019

Cantonese Style Black Pepper Beef

I was perusing the Wednesday edition of the Vancouver Sun newspaper - the edition that always has a section devoted to recipes - and stumbled across this.  It's very different than what I think of as a Pepper Beef dish as it contains both regular and sweet potatoes, so you don't serve it over rice.  I was instantly intrigued and it's going on the menu tonight. Just headed out to the store to pick up the ingredients.

This recipe is credited to Christopher Kimball and is from his latest cookbook called Milk Street: Tuesday Nights. In the article notes they offer that the dish can wait in the refrigerator for a couple days - just add the fresh herbs at the last minute. Perfect. 

I also love one-dish meals, especially as all my kids are grown and moved out.  It's just two of us now so it's great when recipes can be easily divided in half to cover 2 night's meals. It's also a bonus when there is only one pan to clean up. 

If this recipes turns out as amazing, I will definitely be picking up a copy for my cookbook shelf. If you try it let me know what you think as well. I will definitely add my notes in a few days.

UPDATE - After reading this recipe carefully and making it myself I made some changes. I left the preparation the same, but the order of how things were fried to a way that made more sense to me. I have adjust below to reflect my preference.  In the original they did beef, then potatoes, then onion/pepper.  I didn't feel this would cook the onion enough for my taste and cooking the beef last leaves the pan very clean until the last step, so changed the order to onion, peppers, potatoes and lastly beef.  This dish was tasty and filling.  A rethink of Cantonese in a western style dish. 

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Cantonese Style Black Pepper Beef 
Serves: 4

Ingredients - 

3 T            Grapeseed or other neutral oil - separated
3T             Soy sauce -divided
5               Medium garlic cloves, finely grated
4 tsp          Finely grated, fresh ginger root
2 tsp          Cornstarch 
Kosher or coarse salt 
Coarsely ground pepper
1 lb.          Beef sirloin tips or other tender cut, patted dry, in 1-inch pieces 
3               Medium Yukon gold potatoes, in 1-inch pieces (3 cups)
1               Large yam, in 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces
1               Medium onion, chopped 
1               Red, Yellow or Orange bell pepper, in 1/2-inch pieces
6 T           Chopped fresh coriander/cilantro - divided

In a small bowl, whisk together 1 T of the oil and the soy sauce,garlic, ginger, cornstarch and 1 tsp pepper. Toss the beef with 2 T of the soy sauce mixture, then let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Whisk 3 tbsp water into the remaining soy sauce mixture and set aside.

In a medium microwave safe bowl, toss the two kinds of potatoes with 1 tsp salt. Cover and microwave on high until almost tender to the fork, stirring halfway through. It's important not to overcook here as they are going to be fried later. Set potatoes aside. 

In a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat, add 1 T Oil and swirl to coat. Add the onion and cook until almost tender.  Add the peppers and continue cooking until onion is soft and peppers are cooked but still slightly crisp. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Add 1 T of Oil and swirl to coat pan.  Add potatoes in a single layer (if they don't fit, I would suggest fyring in 2 batches). Cook, gently flipping every minute or so, until browned on several sides.  This doesn't have to be perfect, just a bit of brown on the pieces.  Remove from pan and set aside with onion and pepper. Note don't overwork potatoes as you don't want them to get mushy.

Add 1 T of oil to pan and add beef in a single layer. Again, if your pan is too small, do this in 2 batches. Cook beef turning every minute, until well browned and cooked through. Lower heat to medium and stir in reserved soy sauce mixture. Cook, turning gently, until juices have reduced slightly and ingredients are well coated.

Add onion, pepper and potatoes, sprinkle with 1/4 tsp pepper and 5 T of the coriander and gently mix until all ingredients are evenly combined.

Serve, sprinkled with remaining 1 tbsp coriander/cilantro.

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