Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ginger Beef Stir-Fry...

For our weekly recap, I think our favorites this time were that Potato Pizza with Fresh Rosemary, Thyme and Mozzarella, those crazy good Chocolate Ginger Marble Cakes and we have to include the Homemade Pasta with Sizzled Sage because it is hard to beat fresh pasta!

Gus tends to be pretty lazy on the weekends and spends most of his time here...

On these stairs, he gets a few good hours of solid warm sunlight that he loves to soak up. Some days, like this morning, not even a puppy snack can lure him away from his sun spot! I don't think he appreciates us interrupting this time by trying to take his picture though!

With a busy day on the table today, another speedy recipe was on tap for dinner tonight - Ginger Beef Stir-Fry.

To give the thinly sliced top sirloin we used as the beef in this dish a seasoned bath, the strips were rested for several minutes in a blend of beef stock, hoisin, soy sauce, rice vinegar and potato starch (or cornstarch if you like). Just a quarter cup or so of this combo used for the beef, while the rest is reserved to become the sauce.

As long as you have a large enough skillet, don't be shy in adding all of the beef at once and stir-frying it until the pieces are just browned, leaving a bright pink center on the inside. However, if your skillet is on the smaller side, do this in a couple batches so you don't crowd the skillet, lowering the temperature and steaming the meat instead. With the beef being removed, a bit more oil is added to the skillet to take the raw edge off a couple cloves of garlic and a scoop of minced fresh ginger. Thinly sliced carrots are added, along with a bit of water and a cover, creating a steamy environment to slightly soften the carrots and pull up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.

The meat is added back, and just as important, any accumulated juices collected as it rested, along with the reserved hoisin mixture. Be sure this comes back to a boil, which will heat the beef back up and activate the potato starch, tightening up the liquids to create a glossy sauce that clings to the beef and carrots. For a mild onion-y bite, thinly sliced (catch a theme here?!) scallions are added once the skillet was taken off heat for a fresh note, while a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds scattered on top brought a little crunch with nutty finish.

I decided to serve this over a bed of brown basmati rice, cooked using our favorite no-fuss method (which I should mention also got special bonus points tonight as I didn't have to keep a close watch on it), but this would be equally as good served over noodles with this being as saucy as it was. Jeff was quite pleased with this, especially since he requested a meaty dish this week. He even commented, as he sat at the island watching me prepare it, that this dish was coming together in such a fluid motion that even he would like to try and pull it off sometime! He did note though, and I agree, that even though the ginger gave us a little spice, a touch of heat would have been welcomed... maybe a pinch or two of crushed red pepper in the sauce?


  1. This looks like something we would like! Thanks!

  2. BB - Let us know if you try it out!