Over the weekend we saw an episode of America's Test Kitchen where they made a Thai Chile Beef recipe that looked sensational. We didn't feel like buying all the necessary ingredients but we still wanted similar flavors, so I decided to wing it and threw this together using ideas from various recipes:
I have to say, I was shocked at how good this was. I've never made a stir fry before so I wasn't expecting to be wowed the first time out of the gate. All the flavors were excellent and it wasn't too salty or too sweet - it was just perfect. A tad on the spicy side, but we like it that way.
The one very important tip we got from ATK was to use blade steak, which has excellent marbling that keeps the meat tender and moist even when it's fully cooked. The only thing you have to remember to do when using blade steak is remove the tough tendon that runs down the center of the meat.
I don't really have a recipe because I just eyeballed everything, but here's what I did: With stir fry you have to prep all the ingredients before cooking so I started by thinly slicing the steak, a green pepper and half a large onion. I also minced a bunch of garlic and grated a 1-inch piece of ginger. My mom gave me a hot pepper from her veggie box so I removed the seeds from half of it and finely minced that as well.
For the steak I made a quick marinade using soy sauce, a little chicken broth (I would have used beef broth if I had it but chicken worked just fine), maybe 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and some rice wine vinegar. I also made the sauce for the stir fry using soy, broth, a pinch of red pepper flakes, two finely minced scallions, brown sugar and more rice wine vinegar.
When it was time to start cooking I patted the meat dry and cooked it in batches in a very hot non-stick skillet. The beef let off some moisture as it cooked so I drained the pan in between batches. Once all the beef was cooked I add the onions and both peppers to the pan and cooked until they were soft. Then I added the ginger and garlic and once that was fragrant I added the sauce. Once that started to thicken a bit I put the beef back in and added some torn basil and a handful of cilantro. As soon as the herbs were wilted the dish was done. I served it over basmati rice.