In my daily email newsletter from NYTCooking, I came across a quick and easy recipe for Black Pepper Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry (by Sue Li). The recipe takes a quick 20 minutes, plus a few minutes for prepping the cabbage and feeds 2 to 4 people. Ingredients needed for this recipe are whole black peppercorns, garlic, light brown sugar, cornstarch, 3/4 pound sirloin steak, neutral cooking oil, soy sauce, 1/2 head small green cabbage, sherry vinegar, sesame seeds, scallions and rice.
The recipe calls for 8 ounces of thinly sliced cabbage. It’s a good thing I have scale, as 8 ounces was about 1/4 of a head of cabbage that I purchased. I was able to find beef stir fry on Monday at my local Pastosa store; the cabbage came from Delicious Orchards.
The meat has a robust dressing of crushed peppercorns, brown sugar, cornstarch and salt. The meat is browned in a skillet for 3-4 minutes. Soy sauce is added; the beef tossed to coat. Next, the meat is transferred to a dish and covered to keep warm.
The shredded cabbage is spread evenly in the pan to caramelize and take the flavoring left in pan. After 4-6 minutes, vinegar and salt is added to season the cabbage. Lastly, the beef and it’s accumulated juice are added back to the skillet and is combined with the cabbage until warmed through. Crushed sesame seeds and thinly sliced scallions are tossed over the dish, which is served over rice.
I must say, the stir fry had a nice spicy taste from the amount of black peppercorns required for this recipe. The brown sugar, soy sauce and sherry vinegar gave the dish a wonderful flavor. My husband and I really enjoy this. With the proportions given, I would say it feeds 2–3 people or two very hungry adults. Overall, a great weeknight recipe and one to consider if you love beef stir fry.
Black Pepper Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry
By Sue Li
“The New York Times – Home Section”
Sunday, December 6, 2020
YIELD: 2 to 4 servings
TIME: 20 minutes
“Coarsely crushed black peppercorns star in this quick weeknight dish, which is built primarily from pantry staples. Don’t be shy about adding the entire tablespoon of pepper, as it balances out the richness of the beef and adds a lightly spicy bite to the dish. A quick rub of garlic, brown sugar, salt, pepper and cornstarch seasons the beef; the cornstarch helps tenderize the beef and later imparts a silky texture to the sauce. Feel free to marinate the beef up to 8 hours ahead and cook when you're ready. If leftovers remain, tuck them into a crunchy baguette or roll them into a wrap.”
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, coarsely crushed with the bottom of a cup or pan
3 garlic cloves, grated
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
¾ pound sirloin steak, thinly sliced crosswise
3 tablespoons sunflower oil or other neutral oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
½ head small green cabbage (about 8 ounces), thinly sliced
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, crushed with your fingertips
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Cooked rice, for serving
Add peppercorns, garlic, brown sugar, cornstarch and 1 teaspoon salt to a medium bowl and stir to combine. Add sliced steak and toss to coat.
Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add steak and cook, stirring frequently, until some of the edges are lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add soy sauce and toss beef to coat, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer beef to a bowl or plate.
Add cabbage to skillet, spread in an even layer and let cook, undisturbed, for 1 minute so that some pieces caramelize in the pan. Toss and cook cabbage, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in vinegar and season with salt.
Add steak and any juices back to the skillet, and stir until well combined with the cabbage and warmed through, about 1 minute. Top with toasted sesame seeds and scallions; serve with rice.
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.