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SPICY ORANGE ZEST BEEF

March 30, 2012 3:13 pm 0 comments

Spicy Orange Zest Beef is an excellent stir-fry dish that is made similar to Chinese style of cooking using beef tenderloin marinated in a flavourful marinade made with orange juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sambal hot chili sauce, minced garlic cloves and brown sugar. The beef is later browned and cooked in a spicy and complex orange zest sauce. All ingredients are blended nicely giving a spicy, sweet, sour and tangy flavour.

The excellent part of this recipe is its simplicity and delicious aromatic flavours. It creates an incredible dish that you could proudly serve with rice.   As beef is less common form of meat in Chinese food, this makes a remarkable dish for all those you love eating beef. Beef in more common in Szechuan cuisine than it is in other Chinese cuisines, perhaps due to the widespread use of oxen in the region. Stir-fried beef is often cooked until chewy, while steamed beef is sometimes coated with cornstarch to produce rich gravy.

Beef is the culinary name for meat, especially domestic cattle. It is one of the principal meats used in the cuisine of the Middle East (including Pakistan and Afghanistan), Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Europe and the United States, and is also important in Africa, parts of East Asia, and Southeast Asia. Beef is considered a taboo food in some cultures, especially in Indian culture, and thence is eschewed by Hindus and Jains. There are a variety of recipes that you can make with beef. Beef is generally used in Goan cuisine and some of the popular dishes are Beef Curry, Beef Cutlets, Green curry with beef, Fiery Beef (Bulgoki), Beef Vindaloo, Barbecued Beef, Beef style Keema Mutter etc.

Spicy Orange Zest Beef is made tender chunks of beef tenderloin served with fluffy rice and crisp vegetables covered in a spicy orange zest sauce for a meal that contains absolutely no preservatives, is fresh and exotic to taste.  This stir-fry dish is an excellent dinner recipe. It can be made in about the time it takes to make a pot of rice to serve with it. The taste and flavours of this dish is adapted from the Chinese sweet and sour chicken recipe. Use of orange zest in this recipe is a new invention in trying out fabulous flavours.

Orange peel, known to cooks as orange zest, is a versatile seasoning with nearly limitless uses in cooking and baking. Practically any food that supports an orange or citrus flavour can be seasoned with orange zest. The key to cooking with orange peel is to use finely grated rind just from the surface of the orange, and none of the bitter white pith beneath it. Orange peel or zest is also sold in dried form but is more flavourful when it’s fresh. Add orange zest to red and white wine-based sauces which gives a slight citrus aroma and flavour. Include the juice of the zested orange for a more potent orange flavour.

Orange zest can also be used to mix into marinades and dry rubs for beef, pork, poultry or lamb to impart a tangy flavour into the meat. Sprinkle the zest directly onto these foods for the last hour of roasting, or while you are frying them. Finish fish or rice dishes with a light topping of orange zest. Add colour and flavour to servings of vegetables the same way. Orange zest also has made its way into the baking industry as they make a great addition in to muffins, breads, cakes, cheesecakes, cookies and other baked items that are complemented by an orange flavour. You can also sprinkle orange zest into pie fillings as well.

To prepare this scrumptious and delicious Spicy Orange Zest Beef, firstly cut 1 lb tender beef into thin strips and then into equal sized small cubes. In a bowl, add ¼ cup orange juice, ¼ cupe rice vinegar, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp sambal hot chili sauce, 2 cloves minced garlic and 1 tbsp brown sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Mix this marinade well. Add in the beef pieces, mix well and marinate the beef in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Complete the next steps while the beef is marinating. Peel 1 tablespoon orange zest and cut them into thin slices. Cut one bunch green springs onions and keep aside. Remove the marinated beef and strain it thoroughly and keep the liquid aside. Add 1 teaspoon cornstarch to the liquid mix well and keep aside. Heat the wok over high heat. Add oil for deep-frying and heat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. When the oil is ready, add the beef. Deep-fry on both sides until it changes colour or browned and is nearly cooked. Add in the liquid and allow it to boil nicely. Add in the green spring onions and when it thickens and is cooked turn off the heat and serve. Stir-fry briefly until aromatic.

This dish is relatively low in fast bursting with flavours and a very healthy dinner dish. Beef is an excellent source of complete protein and minerals such as zinc, selenium, phosphorus and iron, and B vitamins.

Tip: Be sure the beef is well drained before it hits the hot pan. If your meat is wet, it will just boil and steam, and won’t work as well. Of course, if beef isn’t your thing, this will also work with chicken, pork, and…[gulp]…textured vegetable protein. I hope you give this a try soon.

Enjoy Cooking!

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