Thursday, April 25, 2013

Korean-Style Beef Bowl from Pampered Chef

I'm a big fan of stir fry style foods, mostly because they tend to be healthy, quick, and relatively easy to put together.  Cook up some meat, add some veggies, throw on a tasty sauce, put it all over some steamed rice, and often in less than 45 minutes (less if you plan ahead and cut everything up the day before). I usually end up doing some type of stir fry dinner once a week on average, and it usually tends to be chicken. But sometimes I mix it up.

Last year, I acquired a copy of the Pampered Chef 29 Minutes to Dinner recipe book, and have since bought the second and third volumes, and there's a pretty excellent recipe for a Korean-style beef bowl.  I gave it a whirl a while back.

I deviated a little bit from the recipe to accommodate the available ingredients, but that's one of the nice things about a stir fry dish - you can adjust to your likes and whatever happens to be in the fridge at the time.

The recipe calls for skirt steak, which, as I learned when I visited the local butcher after finding no skirt steak in the grocery story, is a rather expensive cut of meat.  The butcher suggested I use a flank steak instead, which was still kind of pricey. But the butcher said he doesn't even get skirt steak unless somebody special orders it.  And I'm all about the price point if it's just for a weeknight, no fuss, un-special occasion meal.

Anyway, I cut the flank steak into three sections and then slice those sections against the grain.  The recipe calls for two green onions to be sliced up, reserving a tablespoon for garnish, but I don't really like green onions very much and happened to have a lot of chives leftover from a previous recipe.  And since chives can substitute for green onions, I snipped a whole bunch up for the marinade, added two cloves of pressed garlic, a teaspoon of ground black pepper, a tablespoon of sugar, three tablespoons of soy sauce, and a tablespoon of sesame oil.  Then I let the marinade and steak get all happy in the refrigerator for about twenty minutes or so.

Next I cooked up a cup of brown rice in the microwave according to package directions.  You can use any kind of rice, really - the recipe calls for jasmine rice, which is what I normally use with stir fry. My husband's not a big fan of brown rice, so I don't make it often.  I was on a bit of a brown rice kick when I made this.

While the rice was cooking and the beef was marinating, I prepared the vegetables.  You're supposed to just use carrots and bean sprouts, but I like a little more variety in my stir fry.  So I used broccoli, red pepper, and water chestnuts.

I also ribbon-sliced two large carrots.  If you have no idea what that is, this picture will illustrate far better than I can explain:

Put the carrot ribbons into water until you're ready for them.

Now you're ready to start stir frying.

Heat about a teaspoon or so of olive oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat (I personally recommend a heavy skillet with higher sides for stir fry - I always use my Calphalon Omelet Pans). Heat the oil for about 3 minutes, and then add the beef in a single layer, marinade and all.  Cook for about 2 minutes until the beef is brown, give it a stir and cook for another 3-4 minutes until no longer pink.

Remove the beef from the pan and set aside. Then stir fry the vegetables until crisp tender.

I found a zucchini in my fridge, so I sliced that up and tossed it in as well.

Add the beef back to the skillet, and toss to combine.

Now, the recipe says to serve the carrots raw, but I don't like cold carrots in my stir fry. So I tossed them on top at the end, gave it a quick stir just to heat them through, and called it dinner.

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