Beef always intimidates me. I’ve never tried cooking with it beyond grilling burger patties and using ground beef for meat sauce. I have this notion that it’s tough and requires a pressure cooker to make it tender, I’m scared to use the pressure cooker so I don’t bother with beef anymore and besides I don’t like it that much, it usually leaves a greasy film on my mouth. But since my sister taught me this recipe, I’ve had a change of heart, beef is okay, it tastes good and I can cook it without using a pressure cooker.
This dish uses beef tenderloin tips, and I can’t believe it did not get tough on me, I tried cooking beef before and it turned out like a beef jerky with sauce, we couldn’t eat it. My problem I found out was buying the wrong cut of meat, certain dish requires certain cut or part of meat and it is especially true with beef. If you use a cut that’s meant for stew or long cooking on a stir-fry or saute, you’ll end up with a rubbery meat. I didn’t know that..
I’ve since re-acquainted myself with beef, I’ve been buying tenderloin and beef steaks and my husband couldn’t be more happier, he loves beef but doesn’t ask for it because he knows that I don’t like it and I don’t know how to cook it (more likely the latter). I have yet to try my cooking skill on other beef cuts but for now I am happy with beef tenderloin, I can do a lot of things with it.*
The recipe below is, as I’ve mentioned courtesy of my sister
and that means, no exact recipe. She demo-ed (is that even a word) it to me when she came for a visit and I took notes of the ingredients, the method is just basic saute. The recipe below is what I usually make for my family, there’s only me and my husband plus 2 kids, so adjust the quantity accordingly if you have bigger family to feed. I myself don’t regularly measure ingredients when cooking (except when baking) but I started taking notes of what I put or add since starting this blog.
*See my note at the end of the recipe to turn this dish into beef stroganoff.
Quick and Easy Beef Saute
250 grams tenderloin tips or strips
1 medium red onion, minced
1 small red bellpeper, sliced into strips
1 medium carrot, julienned or cut thinly
1 medium potato, julienned or cut thinly
red pepper flakes, optional
1 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon patis (fish sauce), optional
1 teaspoon soy sauce
olive oil or canola oil
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick sauce pan, saute onions until it turns opaque about 1 minute, then add the beef tenderloin strips, season with a little salt and pepper cook on a high heat until it browns, keep stirring so it won’t burn. Lower the heat then add the red pepper flakes, if using then pour in water, season with patis and soy sauce.
Cover with lid and bring to a boil (here I usually cut my veggies really quickly while I’m waiting for it to boil). Take off the cover and taste and adjust seasoning when necessary then add the carrots and potatoes cook for about 5 minutes or until the veggies are tender.
Combine cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl, slowly pour it in the beef saute, you don’t necessarily have to add it all in, it depends on how thick you want the consistency of the sauce; let boil for a minute to allow the cornstarch to cook, then taste again before turning off heat. Serve with steamed rice.
note: if you have it your pantry, substitute beef stock for the water and instead of adding cornstarch and water mixture, you could add 1/4 cup sour cream and voila! it’s beef stroganoff (sort of), serve it over egg noodles or any pasta you like.
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