I often come across a recipe that seems so simple, I wonder can it really be that good?
This is another one of those.
I don’t know what you take to read on vacation or road trips, but me, I take food magazines and recipe books. I love discovering a new flavor combination or learning about some cuisine I have never cooked before.
The credit for this recipe belongs to Fine Cooking magazine. I can’t remember when I came across it, but I have a suspicion it was on a vacation, since I don’t remember ever subscribing to Fine Cooking. A road trip always calls for a run to the library. You too?
Though I am not fond of a lot of black pepper, it was the combination and simplicity of this recipe that intrigued me. Okay, and the seared meat with onions. The sauce, though incredibly simple is packed with flavor. Don’t leave anything out, each ingredient is necessary.
Vietnamese-Style Beef with Garlic, Black Pepper, and Lime
- 2 Tbs. soy sauce
- 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
- 1 1/2 Tbs. light brown sugar
- 1 Tbs. fish sauce
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 Tbs. peanut or canola oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 lb. beef tri-tip steak or tenderloin,cut into 3/4-inch pieces or cubes
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick wedges
- 3 Tbs. chopped salted peanuts, preferably toasted
- 2 scallions, both green and white parts, thinly sliced
In one bowl, combine the soy sauce, lime juice, sugar, and fish sauce; stir until the sugar dissolves. In another small bowl, add the garlic, 1-1/2 tsp. of the oil, and 1-1/2 tsp. pepper.
Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper.
In a large skillet, heat 1-1/2 tsp.of the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Swirl to coat the skillet.
Add half of the beef to the very hot skillet, in a single layer and cook, without stirring, until well browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Using tongs, turn the pieces over and brown on the other side, 1 to 2 minutes more.
Transfer to a medium bowl. Add another 1-1/2 tsp. oil to the skillet and repeat with the remaining beef, adding it to the bowl with the first batch of beef when done.
Put the remaining 1-1/2 Tbs. oil in the skillet and heat until shimmering hot. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to soften, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the garlic mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Return the beef and any accumulated juices to the pan and stir to combine.
Add the soy sauce mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the beef and onions are coated and the sauce thickens slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve sprinkled with the peanuts and scallions over rice.
from – Fine Cooking issue 111.