Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mongolian Beef

Slightly adapted from Elly says Opa!

This recipe was a delicious pain in my rear... It smelled great (after i redid the garlic), tasted wonderful (after I spent way too much time on it), Was cooked perfectly (even though I thought it never would), essentially we loved this dinner, however the getting to eat it part was stressful. I have you intrigued now huh? Well, have you ever seen the movie Meet the Parents? You know how absolutely EVERYTHING that could go wrong in that movie did, well that was this recipe! I shall now explain.

I made this recipe while my Hubby was still home sick, thinking "Perfect, he can keep an eye on the little guy while I focus on this and get dinner on the table faster" (because I was STARVING!). WRONG! I even made everything easy for myself, bought pre-cut meat so I could skip that step. Set up all my stations before getting started cooking. And I gave myself an hour to make it, which ended up being and hour and a half. (remember I said everything went wrong...) So here's the big story. I was getting started, the meat was already done in it's corn starch coating, and I was getting ready to saute the garlic. And let me tell you, I've never EVER burnt garlic before... Never, not once! But right as I put the garlic in the pan, my little Farming Tot had a complete and total breakdown. Over what, I honestly could not tell you, not sure I knew then either, but he refused to go to where his dad was so I could keep cooking. Instead he stood in the middle of the room SCREAMING! So I leave my delicious garlic to go soothe him, Finally get him calmed down, and by now I knew the garlic was ruined because the whole house smelled like burnt garlic (not a good smell... just take my word for it!). So I have a little mental breakdown myself (don't forget I'm seriously starving here), and start all over again. I get over that and start on the rest, oh and did I mention that I realized I forgot to buy the ginger? Yeah... So I had to compensate and put ground ginger in the sauce, which it still tasted fine, but just added to my breakdown. So I finally get the sauce done (after spilling some of it on myself), cook it for a couple minutes, dump it out and throw the meat in. At this point it seems to finally be coming together so I just relax. Then the meat... Oh that freaking meat... I swear it mooed at me in protest of being cooked! Really, I'm not crazy, that freaking meat MOOED AT ME!! Ok not really, but maybe it should've, might've made me laugh a little. That is after I wet my pants from screaming in fear... Ok back to the story. So I cook it, exactly according to directions in the recipe. Something I rarely have a problem with. But this meat did NOT want to cook. Now I like my meat well done, no red at all, but I've never had this much problem before. I got it all nice and browned, poured the sauce in, let it cook for a bit and checked the meat to find out that it was RAW inside! Never in my entire cooking life has this ever happened to me, so now my sauce is getting really thick, but my meat seems to be going back to the cow stage... I tented it with foil in hopes of holding the heat in so it would cook faster, which did seem to help, but after about triple the normal cooking time it was just barely done. And my sauce was well... thick. haha! Finally it was done, I served it up, and I will admit even with the set backs it was delicious. Really, I'm not kidding, we loved it. But will I ever make this again? I honestly don't know. My hubby asked me if it was worth all the effort, but I couldn't' decide. It was the best Mongolian beef I have ever had, seriously. I do hope you will try it, and maybe if ya'lls efforts are not as disastrous as mine was I will restore my hope in the ease of this recipe.

1 lb. flank steak, sliced across the grain (or pre-sliced stir fry meat)
3 Tablespoons corn starch
3 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1/2 teaspoons grated ginger, (or 1/4 teaspoon ground)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon (heaping) red pepper flakes
2-3 large scallions, sliced

Pat the steak pieces with paper towels to make sure they're dry. Next, mix the steak and cornstarch together,  make sure all the pieces are fully coated, but shake off excess corn starch. Mix together the soy sauce, water, brown sugar and red pepper flakes (add in the ground ginger here if using that instead of grated).
Heat half of the oil in a wok at medium-high heat and add the ginger (if using grated) and garlic.  Once fragrant (30 seconds or so), add in the soy sauce mixture. Cook for about 2 minutes and transfer to a bowl.
Turn the heat up on the wok and add the remaining oil. Add the beef and cook, stirring until just browned. Pour the sauce back in and let it cook with the meat. Let the sauce thicken to your liking, and then add the green onions in just before plating. Serve over rice.

As much of a pain as this recipe was, it really was delicious. It had a nice balance of heat and sweet, and I just loved the sauce. Better than our local Chinese restaurants Mongolian beef by a lot. And it really is a simple recipe, I think the cooking fairies just decided to curse me that particular day. I do hope you'll try this, and love it as much as we did! 4 stars, ( I would give it 5, but it was such a pain in my back burner... ahah!!)

The Farmers Wife

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  1. I have not had Mongolian Beef in ages. Your picture looks so good too!! And your story is hilarious! Lawdy - don't we all have moments like that in the kitchen. Especially with little ones underfoot. You poor baby! You saved the day though and it really looks amazing. P.S. Glad to hear everyone is on the mend! :)

  2. Haha! Thanks B! I can laugh about it now that it's been a couple weeks, but I was not laughing then. I'm a little amazed that it ended up as good as it was in the end. And I am so glad we're finally on the mend too, and my house is clean again! YAY!

  3. It looks so tasty!!! Sometimes all that matters is the end product. And you know, all those insane moments at the kitchen are what makes food and cooking! I cannot tell you how many times I've encountered chaotic situations at home... So be proud of your beautiful mongolian beef!

  4. Jessica, Thank you! You are so right, these sort of challenges really do help you become better in the kitchen. Plus it makes life just a little bit more interesting! Ha!

  5. That looks so succulent! Wow...and I am not a meat person. :)

    Hey, thanks for the add on FoodBuzz! It's so awesome to meet other food bloggers!

  6. This looks amazing! I've never made Mongolian beef, but I def need to try!

  7. Wow! This looks really yummy! ;)

  8. Wow, looks great. I have been wanting to try to make this. I always end up getting Mongolian Beef when we go out. Thank you

  9. I love Mongolian Beef! I'm sorry you had to go through all that pain though to finally get it done. But it looks great!

  10. Thank you everyone for all your encouragement! Maybe I will have to make this again (hopefully without all the mishaps!). I truly hope you do make this, it was an excellent meal!

  11. Wow....labor of love on this dish. ;) It may have been quite the adventure, but it looks amazing!

  12. Love your articles and wanna try it for weekend. thanks


  13. This looks so good!

  14. Oh... I can SO identify!! The phone rang the other day while I was grilling and I totally forgot about the veggies on the grill, totally burnt... ugh!
    Love this recipe though. My family likes all of the ingredients so it will be a winner. Flank steak is a favorite too.
    Loved this post... I literally laughed out loud!

  15. Kim, Thank you! I'm sorry about your veggies, it's frustrating when you're going through the difficult cooking process, but it does make for a fun story. haha! I hope you do like this, I'm getting encouraged to try it again!


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