Most of the time I don’t follow recipes, I use them as guidelines.
I’m not a big fan of taking measurements, everything is eye balled, tasted and adjusted. It would be wonderful if everyone learned to cook this way, through the power of your own taste bud. Besides, everyone has different tastes, I like things with lots of vinegar so I always add more, some people want more salt or spice. Adjust everything to your own taste buds and you don’t really need to follow a recipe, use it as an ingredient list, not an exact formula.
For this black pepper beef I managed to take measurements and take notes on it.
This dish is slightly spicy, not the same way a chili sauce is, it doesn’t burn your tongue or nose, it’s an all around body warming heat. With the addition of a bit of white pepper it picks up the warmth and adds an additional layer of flavor to the dish that then is balanced with some sugar and a little vinegar. The garlic and ginger are back notes but are an important part to the dish, as are the onions and bell peppers; I like to keep the peppers al dente to add texture to the dish.
1lbbeef flank, rump, or sirloin steak, cut against the grain
Black pepper sauce
Mix all of the sauce ingredients together, whisk thoroughly to incorporate the cornstarch in the cold liquids. If you don't have whole pepper corns, a little less of cracked pepper, do not use the ground up dusty powder.
Prep all of your ingredients, mince the garlic and ginger, cut the onion and bell peppers into short strips and thinly slice the beef against the grain. It helps if the beef is partially frozen to achieve very thin slices, sprinkle the beef with a little soy sauce to season it.
Heat a wok or large pan on high heat, add a bit of oil and cook the beef in batches. Remove from the pan before completely cooked, it's okay if there are still some uncooked spots, it'll finish cooking while it rests and again when you add it to the sauce later.
Add a little more oil to the empty wok and fry the garlic and ginger for 1 minute.
Add the onions and cook for 3 minutes stirring often to prevent scorching. Add the bell peppers and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
When the vegetables have a little color add the sauce and cook till thickened, now is the time to taste and adjust.
Add in the cooked beef and stir everything together, let sit off the heat for a moment to allow the beef to warm back up. Serve over rice.
I’m a tall ship cook, I prefer to cook with water beneath me, no land in sight and lots of mouths to feed. I like to play with bold flavors, pushing people’s taste buds in new directions and using a recipe as a guideline, my hands are my measuring spoons. Read More about “About Me”…