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Stir-Fried Orange-Chili Beef with Broccoli and Spring Onions

Mariel here. It’s cool and rainy here on the East Coast…and that’s not a complaint. I haven’t been in the mood for much more than creamsicles, watermelon bites and cold crisp pickles, but thanks to a looming cold front, I decided it was time to indulge in a real meal…one that requires cooking and everything. Inspired by my mother’s fantastically delicious Bourbon Skirt Steak with Peach Relish, but lacking a BBQ and the patience required to allow the flavors to mix and mingle overnight, I sought to create a similarly sweet beef that didn’t entail much in the way of waiting or marinating. I happen to be a lifelong subscriber of the mantra “I want it and I want it now.”

Stir-Fried Orange-Chili Beef with Broccoli and Spring Onions
Serves 4

1 1/4-pound sirloin (or pepper steak) sliced into ¼-inch-wide strips – I suggest tenderizing the meat since stir-frying can toughen things up – $7.00
1 large head broccoli cut into florets – $2.00
7 green onions, chopped – $0.79
1 tablespoon cornstarch – stock
1 ½ tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced – $0.30
Juice of 2 large oranges (about 1 cup) – $1.00
½ teaspoon orange zest – calculated above
1/3 cup Asian sweet chili sauce – $3.19
1 teaspoon spicy chili garlic sauce or ½ tsp Srichacha – stock
3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce – stock
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon (just the tiniest little sprinkle) – stock
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (ditto) – stock
1 ½ tablespoons Asian sesame oil, divided – stock
Grand total assuming “well-stocked” kitchen: $14.28
Cost per serving: $3.57

1. Cover the steaks in plastic wrap and, using a heavy metal mallet, tenderize on both sides. Unwrap and slice into ¼-inch-wide strips.

2. Place beef strips in a medium bowl; sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss with cornstarch to coat.

3. Blanch the broccoli in a large pot of boiling salted water for about 2 minutes. Remove immediately, drain and shock with cold water.

4. Combine spicy chili garlic (or srichacha), sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, cinnamon, cloves, and zest in a medium bowl.

5. Heat 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat until the oil shimmers. Add the minced ginger; stir 30 seconds. Add the beef strips; stir-fry until the beef is beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the OJ and combine well.

6. Add the chili mixture to the skillet and heat until the sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute.

7. Stir in the remaining ½ tablespoon sesame oil, the broccoli, and half of the sliced green onions. Stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes.

8. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with the remaining sliced green onions. Serve hot over rice or stir-fry noodles (as pictured).