Asian Beef Stir-Fry
FOR THE BEEF:
2 tablespoons mirin or rice wine
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups water
We're going to start with the beef. Trim away any excess fat and stick the meat in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Partially freezing the meat makes it easier to slice it very thinly. We want this beef to cook quickly so it stays tender. Once the beef is partially frozen, lay it out on your cutting board.
Then cut it at an angle into slices about 1/8 of an inch thick. Leave the meat out on the board for about 10 minutes to warm up just a tad while we mix up the marinade.
In a large zip top bag or container, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine, and brown sugar. I bought my rice wine at the Asian market. If you can't find something similar at your local grocery store, you can use a dry sherry (don't use a "cooking wine" or "cooking sherry," they taste awful!). This is the brand of rice wine I buy.
About 30 minutes before you want to serve dinner, start the rice. Combine the water, rice, and salt in a medium pot. Bring to a boil over high heat.
Heat your wok over high heat. If you you're using a non-stick skillet, you can only heat that up to medium (maybe medium-high). Pour in the vegetable oil and let it heat up. When you see the oil starting to ripple and smoke just a bit, then the pan is ready.
Add the beef to the pan--away from you, because this baby is going to ROAR back at you, since it's really hot. Use a long handled spoon to stir the beef briskly until it is about 3/4 of the way done. Remove the beef to a bowl and set aside. (Notice that it's still a tad pink--this is fine, because it will finish cooking with the vegetables).
Put the wok back on the heat and turn the heat down to medium. If you think you need it, add just a bit more oil to the pan. Add the garlic and ginger and stir that around for about a minute. Don't let it burn!
Toss in the snow peas (yes, they're from the garden), red pepper, and red onions. Let them cook together for about 5 minutes--you want them fairly crunchy.
Now put the beef back in...
Pour in the sauce (give it a good stir before you use it, since the cornstarch has probably settled), and let it simmer along with the beef and vegetables for a few minutes. It should thicken and coat everything nicely.
Doesn't it look great? To serve, scoop some rice into a bowl, and add a generous portion of the stir-fry.
All you have to do is get your chopsticks (or a fork--I'll never know), and dig in.
God bless your table tonight!