A recipe for Mongolian Beef that’s faster, cheaper and better than takeout.
This recipe is a client favorite that I’ve made for years. Of course the client prefers prime ribeye at $30 per pound, so theirs is definitely not cheaper than takeout. When making this for us, I use regular ribeye if it’s affordable, or flat iron steak. You can really use any cut, sirloin, flank etc. that you like the flavor and texture of.
When I write about texture what I’m referring to is that beef tenderloin, also called filet, has the tenderest texture of any cut of beef. That’s why it’s so popular. It sure wouldn’t be the flavor because it has the least flavor of any cut, mostly due to the fact that it has the least fat. As you’ve probably heard before, fat is where the flavor’s at when it comes to meat. If you’re a filet die-hard, next time you’re at a fancy restaurant see if you can order a bone in filet. You will be surprised at how much more flavor it will have.
A relatively new cut that is purported to be as tender as the filet but with more flavor is the blade or flat iron steak. I don’t know how they figured out that cutting a piece of meat differently would make such a huge difference, but hey I’m not a butcher. At my grocery store this cut comes in a vacu-sealed package, not in the butcher case or on a plastic wrapped Styrofoam tray. It is moderately priced as far as steak at about the same price as flank steak. If you see it available give it a go you may be pleasantly surprised to find it’s a new favorite.
The two most important things in this type of stir fry are:
- Slice the meat very, very thinly. If using a steak with a very pronounced grain, like flank, be sure to cut across the grain.
- As with any recipe in the whole entire world…do not overcook the meat! Get the pan screaming hot, dry the meat thoroughly and sear it just long enough to get brown on both sides.
- 1 pound beef cut of choice, sliced very thinly into bite sized pieces and dried with paper towels.
- 1 tablespoon safflower or other high heat oil such as peanut oil
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons safflower/peanut/whatever you used before oil
- 3 cloves of garlic minced, about 1 tablespoon
- 1 tablespoon minced, grated or jarred ginger
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch stirred into ½ cup water
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- Optional: thinly sliced green onion or cilantro for sprinkling
- Heat oil in large sauté pan or skillet until just smoking. Add beef in single layer being sure not to overfill pan or it will steam instead of sear. Cook in two batches if necessary. It shouldn’t take longer than 1-2 minutes to brown.
- Flip and brown other side. TURN OFF BURNER and then remove beef to plate. If you are using an electric stove, move pan to an unused burner.
- Add oils, ginger and garlic to pan stirring quickly to make sure it doesn’t brown. It will depend on how hot your pan is.
- Add brown sugar and soy sauce and stir until bubbly. If not bubbling, you can turn heat back on to medium.
- Add water/cornstarch, stir in completely and cook until bubbly and then for about 30 seconds.
- Add beef and any juices on plate back to pan and stir until nicely coated.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.