Thursday, November 21, 2013

Quick pepper beef with snow peas

The other night I was in the mood for some comforting, easy Chinese-American restaurant-style pepper beef with snow peas, and threw together a quick and easy version that hit the spot ... and went very nicely with a cheap red wine, a Delas 2012 Ventoux from Provence.

I used @Gardein brand "beefless tips," an excellent beef-like wheat gluten-and-soy analogue, great for those who enjoy beef but don't want to sacrifice a cow to eat it; but of course you could use stewing beef or even ground beef formed as mini meatballs if you don't mind about the animal thing.

The procedure is almost too brief for a full recipe:  Marinate the "beef" (or beef) in soy sauce with a shot of sesame oil, lots of minced garlic and ample grinds of good black pepper.

Let them marinate for 15-20 minutes, then brown in a little peanut oil in a wok, reserve in a bowl (leaving as much as possible of the liquid in the wok).  Then brown long-sliced onions, minced garlic and minced ginger in the same liquid with a little more peanut oil if needed.

When the onions start to brown, add fresh whole snow peas, stir-fry until bright and green, then add in a seasoning mix of Chinese black beans and garlic, sambal oelek, sesame oil, a dab of tomato paste and enough water to bring it up to about 2/3 cup.

@gardeinLet the hot stir-fry sizzle in this mix briefly, tossing to combine flavors, and put back the brownd beef, stirring just long enough to heat through.  Serve with steaming white rice.