just me

Mongolian Beef

In Beef on February 25, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Mmmmm....and I didn't even have to tip anybody.

Mr. Gorilla LOVES Mongolian Beef. Any time we go to Pei Wei or P.F. Chang’s, he doesn’t even have to look at the menu. But alas, they do not deliver. You know, I wish every store and restaurant delivered, and they should all be open 24 hours. Because I am lazy, and I keep odd hours.

Anyway, our local Chinese take-out places suck at Mongolian Beef. It’s more like Mongolian Onion, garnished with a few shreds of meat – it makes me crazy, because I have frequent beef cravings and I’m not that good at cooking it myself. Usually. I believe I may have changed my record, because this recipe was really, really good. Really good.

I was feeling generous while planning this week’s menu, and I thought I would make a dinner especially for the mister. So I searched the Google for a Mongolian Beef recipe, and found one by Tish on RecipeZaar that claimed to be a copycat of P.F.Chang’s, which happens to be Mr. Gorilla’s favorite. Aaawww, aren’t I sweet?

I did do a little bit of adapting, and I served it with roasted asparagus. I know it’s weird of me to do that, but I had like, a ton of asparagus, and we haven’t really been eating our veggies. Like I’ve said before – there is no authenticity prize at home.

The recipe as written is good, but I just added a few touches that I thought made it a bit more special. For the record, Mr. Gorilla said it was BETTER than P.F. Chang’s. He may have just been kissing my butt, or he may have been laying the foundation for a no-more-restaurants campaign; but judging by the rate at which he cleaned his plate, I think he meant it!

Mongolian Beef

(adapted from Recipezaar)

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced

3 cloves garlic, pressed

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup water

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons honey

dash chili sauce

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup sesame oil

1 pound beef (flank steak, skirt steak, or even leftover roast or London broil)

1/4 cup cornstarch

2 large scallions

Directions:

Heat the 1 teaspoon each of vegetable and sesame oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and ginger, and give it a good stir a couple of times around the pan.

Add the soy sauce and water, stir.

Add the brown sugar, honey, chili sauce, and pepper flakes. Stir until sugar is dissolved, then raise the heat to medium and let the sauce boil for a minute or two, but don’t let it thicken.

Remove from heat and set aside.

Cut the steak into stir-fry sized pieces – cut on a 45 degree angle across the grain, so the slices will be more tender. Place beef in sauce, toss to coat, and marinate for about an hour.

When the hour is up, remove the beef from the marinade and dust with cornstarch. Let the beef sit for about 10 minutes so the cornstarch can sink in.

Meanwhile, heat the 1/4 each of vegetable and sesame oils over medium-high in a wok or large pan. When the oil is shimmery and VERY HOT, it is ready to go to work.

Add the beef, and stir fry just until edges are done – leave it a bit rare in the center.

Drain oil, add sauce to the pan, and stir to coat.

Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove the pan from heat before the sauce gets too thick – it will thicken more as it cools.

Cut the scallions on the diagonal into 2-inch long pieces, and sprinkle on top of the beef.

Serve over rice. The original recipe says to leave the extra sauce in the pan, but I think that’s a huge mistake – you miss out on the deliciousness. I just poured it all on top and let it sink into the rice. Omigod! It was one of those dinners where you just want to keep eating it forever and ever. But eventually, you run out. My waistline says thank god.

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