Another Szechuan beef recipe with similar ingredients to this slow cooked recipe, but with a very different end result. Now I have stocked up on dried orange peel, chilli bean sauce and star anise, I need to find recipes to use them in. While I am fairly confident in making my own way in cooking European food without always referring to cookery books, I need the support of a recipe for South-East Asian food. As is normal for me, I turned to Sunflower's Food Galore for inspiration, and as usual, this blog did not disappoint.
I have had a run of making recipes from Sunflower's blog over the past week, and this spicy beef dish was the first. I loved it, and I will definitely be making it again soon. I was also very happy with how it looked- without effort it looks attractive too.
In a previous post I mentioned I don't own a wok, as living abroad restricts my kitchen utensil buying. I made this in a big casserole. It worked, but its not ideal. Not for the actual eating, but for making it. The recipe requires you to remove hot oil during cooking, and this would have been a lot easier in a light wok with sloping sides, rather than a cast iron pan with very hot handles. So I have written this recipe as if I have used a wok, because I would certainly not recommend my method!
500g lean beef steak (rump or sirloin) I used rump
2 sticks of celery
a small handful celery tender leaves, roughly cut
1 small or half large red sweet pepper
1 thumb size ginger, peeled
2 - 4 large dried chillies
1 tbsp sichuan peppercorns
1 rounded tbsp chilli bean sauce
about 1.5 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
dash of light soy to taste
0.5 tsp sugar
pinch of ground Szehuan pepper
6 - 7 tbsp cooking oil
Remove any gristle from the beef, and cut into long, thin strips. Deseed the pepper, and cut into thin strips. Slice the ginger into thin strips too, and cut the ginger into matchsticks. Cut the dried chillies into chunks and de-seed them. I found this easiest to break them up with my fingers, and tap them on the chopping board to remove the seeds.
Heat the oil in a wok, and fry the whole Szechaun peppercorns and dried chillies. Remove once the chillies have turned very dark, almost black. Reserve the chillies for later, and if you like, the peppercorns. If you don't want to be crunching on them, discard.
Turn the heat to its highest setting, and add the beef to the oil, spreading it out in the pan. Do not stir. The oil will bubble up and become cloudy, and eventually settle down and become clear again. Once this has happened, stir the beef until it has browned and crisped very slightly. Push the meat to one side of the pan, and turn the heat down low. Remove all but 1 teaspoon of the oil.
Turn the heat back up to a high temperature, and add in the ginger and chilli bean sauce. Stir fry briefly, and then mix the beef into these flavourings. Add in the reserved chillies from frying previously.
Add the celery and rep pepper, and stir fry until softened to your liking. Off the heat, stir in the celery leaves, and season with light soy, sugar and the ground Szechuan peppercorns.