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Monday, July 12, 2010

Honey and Black Pepper Beef

True confessions: I recently started a new job. After working from home for seven years, I'm back in the office from 9 to 5 (well, actually 7:30 to 4:00 or maybe a little later). The first week I worked, dinner times were, shall we say, highly informal at our house. But last week I realized that I really missed cooking dinner every night. More than that, I miss having everyone around the table for at least one meal a day. I convinced myself that I could find meals simple and fast enough that I could make them, even in my post-work state. And you know what? I was right.

This recipe comes from one of my new favorite cookbooks, Homestyle Asian. It honestly took me somewhat less than 30 minutes to put it together (okay, I have to admit that Bob cut the meat up before I got home). It was delicious. We served it over jasmine rice. There were no side dishes, but perhaps we'll work up to that in the coming weeks.

We made a number of revisions from the original recipe. The book calls for 2 pounds of round steak. Bob found some boneless ribeyes on sale that were heavenly; we used two of them, cut into strips. I think any cut of beef that doesn't require long cooking times to become tender would work. I couldn't see our bunch eating snow peas, although that was part of what initially attracted me to the recipe. So I used broccoli, which looked and tasted great. I also put in some red bell pepper strips for color. As a bonus, they also added great flavor. I think my favorite part was the sauce--some sweetness from the honey, some heat from the pepper and some soy to tie it all together.

Honey and Black Pepper Beef
1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 pounds round steak, cut into thin strips
1 large onion, sliced
1 pound or so of trimmed broccoli florets
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup oyster sauce
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat the wok until very hot. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and swirl it around to coat the side. Stir-fry the beef in batches over high heat. Remove and drain on paper towels.

Reheat the wok and add 1 tablespoon of the oil and stir fry the garlic, onion, broccoli and peppers until softened. Remove from the wok and set aside.

Add the honey, soy sauce, oyster sauce and black pepper to the wok. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly.

Increase the heat, return the meat and vegetables to the wok, and toss for 2-3 minutes or until well combined and heated through.

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