Asian-style Beef with Chilies and Shallots


We usually have 1-2.5 channels on our rabbit-eared TV, but when the rain comes, we miraculously get tons more! Usually Spanish channels airing telenovelas, but a couple days ago, I discovered that we have KPBS! YAY! And that night, America's Test Kitchen was on! Double YAY!

Anna and I watched them make this dish and we had a "Mom" moment--if we were to make this we would throw in more way more chilies because this dish was created by white people and therefore it wouldn't be spicy enough for us.
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Ooooookay....WE WERE SO WRONG!!! This dish was so spicy! Even while I was cooking it, I kept coughing and then afterwards, I had to adjust the veggies to make it bearable to eat! I adjusted the sauces and made it less spicy in the recipe below, but of course, I think this dish is tasty enough to stand on its own without any spiciness (although it is more fun with the heat).

I like the flavor of the beef marinade, sweet and savory. If using chuck, they said you could cook it well done and still have it be tender. You just need to remove all that white tough stuff around the meat.
Beef and Marinade
3/4 t ground coriander
1/8 t ground white pepper
1 t brown sugar
1 t fish sauce
1 lb blade steak, trimmed and cut 1/4" thick

Stir-Fry
1 T fish sauce
1 T rice vinegar
1T water
1/2 T brown sugar
1/2 T Asian chili-garlic paste (if using this, you may omit the jalapeño, or use only a 1/4 of the jalapeño)
3 medium cloves of garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press
1/2 jalapeno chile, halved, seeded and ribs removed, cut crosswise 1/8" thick
1-2 shallots medium sized
2 bell peppers (green or red or both), sliced

Garnish
1/4 C mint leaves, torn into bite sized pieces (or basil leaves, or omit is ok)
1/4 C cilantro leaves
2 stalks of green onions, sliced
1/3 C unsalted, roasted peanuts
lime wedges for serving

Combine coriander, sugar, fish sauce in bowl add beef and toss to combine; marinate 15 minutes.

Stir in a separate bowl: fish sauce, vinegar, water, brown sugar, garlic chili paste until sugar dissolves. At this point, you can chop/prepare all the veggies and slice while the meat is marinating.

Heat 2 t oil in a non-stick skillet over high heat until smoking, add 1/3 of the beef in an even layer and cook, without stirring for 2 minutes. Then stir and continue cooking until beef is browned around the edges and is no longer pink on the inside. Transfer beef into a medium bowl and repeat with additional oil and remaining meat in 2 more batches.

After finishing the meat, reduce heat to medium and add 2 t of oil to now empty skillet to coat. Add chilies and shallots and cook, stirring frequently until beginning to soften. Push chili-shallot mixture to the side and add the garlic to the center. Stir to combine the mixtures and then add the bell pepper and stir.

Add fish sauce and cook until reduced and thickened and bell pepper is cooked, but not soggy. Add meat and peanuts and toss well.

Take off heat and sprinkle remaining garnish on top. Tasty with rice or rice noodles!

Adapted from America's Test Kitchen, Episode: Not Your Average Stir-Fry.
Serves up to 6 people

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