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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Stay-In Take-Out: Spicy Orange Beef & Broccoli edition

I just got the Argo Cornstarch product cookbook in the mail (free with $2 S&H), and I am drooling over the many stirfry recipes.  But I am genetically incapable of leaving well-enough alone, so I already have tweaks to report.

The original recipe calls for just 12 oz of beef.  I'm sure it's very authentically Asian to use less protein and more veg, but I live in the Midwest and there's no grocery store in a 100-mile radius that sells meat in such piddly quantities.  So I'm using 1.25 lbs of flank steak.  I could have bought a full 1.5 pounds and split it to make dinner tonight and freeze a kit of the same recipe, but I didn't want to commit a kit to a totally untried recipe.  Next time! 

The original recipe also calls for using the zest of an orange to marinate the beef in and plain ol' water for sauce.  Why not be less wasteful and more flavorful and squeeze the juice to use instead of the water?  So zest AND juice the orange for this recipe, unless you're using some of your frozen stash of citrus zest.

Tips: I don't peel ginger before grating any more.  It's bothersome, the peel is very thin and really doesn't cause problems and I'm a lazy cook.  Grate away!  Also freeze the beef for about an hour before slicing.  It's easier to cut thinly when it's got a little more backbone.  If you plan to freeze a meal kit for this dish, you can include frozen broccoli rather than needing to get fresh broccoli when you're ready to cook, but the veg won't be nearly as crisp.

And now, I present the Improved Argo Spicy Orange Beef & Broccoli...

Spicy Orange Beef & Broccoli (makes 4 servings)

1 lb (or so) flank steak OR sirloin steak, cut thinly across the grain
grated peel of 1 orange (or 2 tsp frozen zest)
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp cornstarch
3 tbsp sherry
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp beef bouillon granules
1 tbsp sugar
1/4-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 cup orange juice (or water)
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cups broccoli florets

Rice, pasta, or shredded lettuce for serving

If prepping ahead to cook the same day or the following day or for freezing, combine the steak with the orange zest and ginger.  For same-day/next-day prep, combine the sherry, soy sauce, bouillon granules, sugar, crushed red pepper, orange juice and cornstarch and whisk. 

Showing the grain on the flank steak (right-slant) and the perpindicular angular of cutting (left slant)

For freezing, omit the cornstarch from the sauce mixture.  Put the marinated beef, sauce and frozen broccoli (if using) into a large vacu-seal or zip-top bag and freeze.  Make sure to have cornstarch in the pantry when you're ready to cook.

When ready to cook, toss 1 tbsp cornstarch with the zest-ginger-beef mix and set aside.  Add 2 tbsp cornstarch to sauce mixture if preparing from a frozen kit and whisk well.

Heat oil in wok or skillet over medium-high heat.  Add beef and stirfry for 2 minutes until nearly cooked through.  Add broccoli and stirfry 3 minutes or just until tender.  Whisk sauce mixture well and add to pan.  Stirring constantly, bring to a boil.  Cook 1 minute, until thickened.

Serve over rice, pasta or shredded lettuce. Pin It

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