Szechuan Beef

I’m trying to get back into regular postings and keep the recipes coming. Here’s one that I just made using our dried Fiesta Blend Cayennes (along with other fresh peppers).

For Chinese cooking, you want to cut the ingredients into roughly similar shapes and sizes. A variety of color is also desired for many dishes. For the best flavor, cook over high heat in a wok or cast iron.

Ingredients

Stir Fry

  • 1-1/2 lb beef (New York strip or Sirloin)
  • 1 large bell pepper
  • 1/2 large white onion
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 can bamboo shoots
  • 6-8 Dried Fiesta Blend Cayenne peppers
  • 1 fresh pepper (based on your heat preference: serrano, cayenne, habaƱero, etc.)
  • Neutral cooking oil (vegetable, peanut, etc.)
  • Sesame oil

(Substitute vegetables as desired, this is just how we make it!)

Marinade

  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup garlic chile sauce (i.e. Sriracha)
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup corn starch

Sauce

  • 1/4 cup Hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup garlic chile sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp chili oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

Directions

Mix the marinade ingredients. Slice the beef into narrow strips and cut into 2-3″ long pieces. Place in a bowl or plastic bag in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, up to 4 hours.

Slice off the top and bottom of the bell pepper and then cut vertically into narrow strips. Cut the onion in half vertically, then slice radially (so the cuts radiate from the center), and finally cut off from the root end. Separate the pieces. Slice the squash lengthwise, then cut the slices into narrow matchstick-like pieces. Drain the bamboo shoots and slice them all in half lengthwise. Finally, finely mince your selected pepper(s).

Drain the meat and set aside. Then, mix all the sauce ingredients.

Before you start, be sure you have all your ingredients on hand ready for cooking.

Heat the pan and add your oil – about 1-2 tbsp neutral oil and 1-2 tsp sesame oil. Let the oil get very hot. You will add the ingredients in a specific order and cook each a little before adding the next, to get the best overall texture.

First add the onions and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute. You want them hot but not yet getting soft. Next add the bamboo shoots and cook for another minute, then the bell peppers. After another minute add the squash. Cook the entire mixture for 1-2 more minutes, then remove into a bowl.

Add more oil if necessary and get it hot again. Add the meat and stir to separate. Continue stirring as you sear the meat and cook it thoroughly.

When the meat is fully cooked, add back the vegetables, then add your minced chile and the dry Fiesta Cayennes. Stir until the minced chile is fully mixed and the dry peppers are fully coated in the cooking oil.

Keeping on high heat, add the sauce. Start with half of it, mixing it and letting it thicken. Add more until you reach the desired thickness and sauciness. (I usually use a bit more than 3/4 of the full mix, depending on how much meat I have)

Remove from heat and serve with rice.

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