Friday, February 20, 2009

Spicy Orange Beef

I am not very proficient at cooking beef. I can do pot roast, and of course ground beef features prominently in many recipes that are in regular rotation at our house, but beyond that...I'm clueless. My parents recently gave us a bunch of beef from the 1/4 steer that they ordered this fall, so that made my need to branch out from chicken, chicken, and more chicken even more immediate!

My husband really likes Asian-inspired recipes so I thought he would really go for this - he liked it alright, I guess, but it wasn't his all-time favorite...apparently he's more of a teriyaki person. I was VERY surprised by how much I LOVED it. I thought it was delicious - even though I spaced the red pepper so it wasn't at all spicy - and I even brought it to work for lunch the next day with a Steamfresh bag of brown rice that cooked right in the microwave. Perfect!

Serves 4


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound round steak, cut into thin strips on the diagonal
1/4 cup orange peel, cut into slivers
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup beef broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sherry
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


1. In a wok or skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add beef strips 1/3 at a time. Stir-fry for 3 minutes or until browned, removing the done pieces to a plate lined with paper towels.

2. Return all the beef to the wok. Stir in orange peel, garlic, and ginger; stir-fry 1 minute.

3. In a medium bowl, combine cornstarch, broth, soy sauce, sherry, marmalade, and red pepper. Pour this mixture into the beef, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook for 1 minute. Serve hot.

NOTES: I didn't use the orange zest because some of the reviews on allrecipes said that it made the orange flavor overpowering. I can see how this is possible, since having the marmalade made it quite orangy enough for me! Maybe you could use a bit for garnish if you were feeling particularly artistic, but unless you are an orange-flavor fiend, you may want to avoid the whole amount.