Here is the conversation with the hubby every Sunday when I am planning out my week of meals…
Me: “What are you interested in eating for one of your red meat meals this week?”
Adam: “Beef Stir-Fry.”
Me: “That’s what you request every week.”
Adam: “Ya ‘cause it’s THAT good!”
Although I’m of the party who likes to mix things up menu-wise during the week. Whenever I make this recipe I can’t help but to agree. It really is that good!
This Beef Stir-Fry is an adaptation on one of Cooks Illustrated’s great stir-fry recipes. It has all of the classic flavor favorites including garlic, ginger, and scallions. There is also beef – lots of it. I added blanched green beans because I love them so much; however, you can always swap them out for fresh broccoli, bok choy, or baby corn. You could even use all three!
As with any stir-fry, prep time can be a little tedious; however, the cook time is super quick. I always recommend that you prep all the ingredients before you start cooking. In order to save time, you can prepare the ingredients earlier in the day, cover with saran wrap, and place in the fridge. That way when you get back home you can jump immediately to the cooking phase.
Once all of the ingredients are prepped, the next thing to do is thinly slice the meat against the grain. I love to use flat iron for this recipe in particular because it is more tender when cooked through (as the meat is with most stir-frys) without getting as tough as flank steak. The downside (at least for me) for flat iron, which is cut from the shoulder blade, is that it has more marbling running through it than flank, which is cut from the abdominal area. I remedy this “problem” by removing as much of the fat as possible from the meat. Now I know that marbling is universally thought of as a great thing for meat, helping to keep it tender, moist, and flavorful. None the less, I personally do not like highly marbleized meat of any kind. I only stick to leaner cuts such as filet tenderloin, sirloin, flank, and “cleaned” flat-iron. However, if you prefer not to remove the fat from the flat iron, definitely feel free to skip this step. On a side note, I have used bison flank for this recipe and it’s very good. Bison meat is also incredibly lean.
Now on to creating the sauce. In a measuring cup, whisk together chicken stock, oyster sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar and red pepper flakes. Set aside.
Heat 1 teaspoon of safflower oil in a large saute pan or skillet over medium-high and add the blanched green beans. Sear until the green beans are slightly charred, about 4-6 minutes. Remove and transfer to a bowl.
Add another teaspoon of oil to the pan and sear the steak slices in 4 batches, seasoning each batch with salt and pepper. Cooking in multiple batches allows you to sear and brown the meat, not steam it – ugh I shudder at the thought. Make sure to sear both sides as well. This will take about 1-2 minutes per side.
When cooking the steak I like to keep some pink within the slices. Since they will be added back to the pan again at the end, I don’t want them to be overcooked when simmering with the sauce.
Once all the flat iron is seared and removed from the pan, turn the heat down to medium, add 1 teaspoon of safflower oil to the same skillet, and cook the scallions until slightly browned (1-2 minutes). Transfer the scallions to the bowl with the green beans.
Next you need to add the minced garlic and grated ginger to the pan, sautéing for 30-60 seconds (until fragrant) before pouring half of the delicious oyster sauce mixture into the skillet. Make sure to scrape up all of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Turn the heat to low and allow the sauce to simmer for a minute or 2 before adding the green beans, scallions, steak and accumulated steak juices back to the pan.
At this time you will pour the remaining oyster sauce into the skillet, simmering everything for 2-5 minutes so the sauce can thicken. If in the rare instance the sauce doesn’t tighten after a while, you can create a small cornstarch slurry and add it to the pan. I have only needed to do this once when I was too lazy to use a measuring cup one day – Lesson learned 🙂
This dish is best served hot over brown basmati rice….my mouth is watering already!!
With 2 large flat iron steaks being used, you can easily get 4-6 servings from this recipe – 3 1/2 servings if you eat like Adam does!
- ⅓ cup low sodium chicken stock
- ¼ cup oyster sauce (Kikkoman)
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½-1 pound blanched green beans, cut into 2 inch sections
- 8 scallions, cut into 2 inch sections
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated (either with or without skin)
- 2 large flat iron steaks, fat trimmed off and sliced thinly against the grain
- Safflower oil, for searing and sautéing
- Prep all ingredients before cooking.
- Whisk chicken stock, oyster sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar and red pepper flakes into bowl, set aside.
- Heat 1 teaspoon safflower oil in large skillet/sauté pan over medium-high.
- Add green beans and sear until slightly charred, 4-6 minutes. Transfer to bowl.
- Sear meat in 4 batches (seasoning each batch with salt, pepper and using 1 teaspoon of safflower oil) until browned on both sides, 1-2 minutes per side. Leave a little pink in the middle - Do Not Overcook. Transfer meat to separate bowl.
- Add 1 teaspoon safflower oil to pan and briefly sear scallions until slightly browned, 2 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Turn heat down to medium. Sauté minced garlic and grated ginger for 30-60 seconds then add HALF of oyster sauce mixture to pan. Allow sauce to simmer and thicken for a couple minutes, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of pan.
- Return green beans, scallions, meat and accumulated meat juices to pan. Then add remaining oyster sauce mixture.
- Turn heat to low and simmer until sauce thickens, 2-3 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Serve hot.