We had a slight problem with our fridge for most of the week. Actually it’s been going on for most of the month, but it was the worst this week. The fridge part seems to be getting too cold that it occasionally freezes some of the things in it like the water in pitchers, the eggs (which I had to discard), some of the yogurt, and others. Once or twice my veggies froze as well. It’s been annoying, but for a while it was manageable. This past week, however, has been totally discouraging, and I had a bit of problem thinking of something new to do. I needed to get rid of some of the stuff before it goes bad by the weird freezing cycles.
There was a small pack of sliced beef in the freezer and I thought I’d try making something out of that with the remaining veggies I had. I was also craving for something spicy, and I immediately reached for my cayenne pepper shaker. I was thinking to try some sort of stir fry or sauteed beef. Here’s what I did.
Cayenne Pepper Beef
- 2 tbs soy sauce
- 2 tbs oyster sauce
- dash of salt and pepper
- cayenne pepper, about a dash or more according to tolerance
- about a half cup of beef strips
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1/2 white onion, cut into strips
- 1 medium carrot, julienned
- vegetable stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- cayenne pepper to taste
1. Mix the marinade ingredients together and pour over the beef strips. Toss until fully coated and submerged. Marinade for about 10-15 minutes. Fish out the beef and set aside the remaining marinade.
2. Heat some oil in a frying pan or sauce pan. Put in the garlic and cook until a bit brown. Toss in the onion strips and cook until translucent.
3. Put in the marinaded beef. Cook in high heat until all sides of the strips are seared, about 3 minutes.
4. Add the carrots and stir fry in medium heat for about 8-10 minutes. Add a bit of vegetable stock whenever the pan gets dry.
5. Season with salt, pepper, and more cayenne pepper.
McCormick Cayenne Pepper c/o mccormick.com.au
It’s actually a pretty straightforward and easy process. With the preparation and cooking, it took about 25 minutes to complete. I put it all in a bento along with some freshly cooked rice, and I tasted the dish come lunch on that day. For good measure, I ran it in medium high microwave for a minute before eating. It was every bit of spicy that I was looking for. I can clearly taste the marinade on the beef, and the carrots added some texture and color. The beef turned out to be not that lean, and exuded some oil when I ate it at lunch time. It wasn’t that much of a big deal, but it would definitely taste better if I used not so fatty meat. The onions wilted considerably, and curled into almost unrecognizable balls among the beef. I’m thinking I could delay putting in the onions with the carrots next time, instead of sauteing it before the beef. To be honest, I was also a bit afraid that I didn’t cook the beef long enough, but it was cooked just fine when I tasted it. It seems 10 minutes in medium flame would do for thin strips.
It was a very interesting and informative experiment. I found that it’s not that hard to cook with non-ground beef (I had previously been cooking almost exclusively chicken), and an important process in cooking is the marinading. There’s a lot of scope for variations there, and I’m excited to find out what else I can come up with in marinade and stir frying.