Beef Briefs from Fur­ther East

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE - FOOD, DRINK and OTHER MAT­TERS with Pa­trick Skin­ner

Reg­u­lar read­ers will know that I love my food. I en­joy very many kinds of it. This is not to say I am a glut­ton. I am for­tu­nate in that my dis­po­si­tion is to eat in mod­er­a­tion. As for pref­er­ences, I lean very much east­wards – to the Lev­ant to start with, and then to Arabia, Iran and on to In­dia and the Far East.

So, a large tome that I bought the other day, from an on-line book­store “The Food of Asia”, had me trawl­ing for good­ies familiar as well as new tastes to try. I have adapted two of them be­cause of the med­i­cal ad­vice not to eat red meat too many times a week. I don’t cook beef very of­ten, but th­ese caught my eye and I just had to try them.

One recipe took me back more than 55 years to a very tra­di­tional (and quite or­di­nary!) Can­tonese eat­ing house just off Lon­don’s Char­ing Cross Road. It was called “The Uni­ver­sal Chi­nese Restau­rant”. There, I first en­coun­tered heav­ily bat­tered lumps of pork fat (with a lit­tle bit of lean at­tached) deep fried and then swamped with a bright red sug­ary vine­gary goo of “Sweet-Sour Sauce”.

There, too, they did some good beef stir fries, of which my favourite was, and still is, beef with oys­ter sauce. A bot­tle of this sauce is al­ways in my food cup­board. spring onion for 1 minute.

9. Add the snow peas, mush­rooms and car­rot and stir-fry for 1 minute, then add the salt, stock and re­main­ing sugar. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Toss with the beef and oys­ter sauce. 10. Serve with boiled or steamed rice or noo­dles. 11. A jolly, young fruity red wine will go well with this. If in a Fran­co­phone mood, Fleurie would do nicely.

In cen­tral Lon­don there must be as many In­dian restau­rants or Curry Houses as there are Chi­nese and some serve very sub­tly flavoured food. I don’t like “man­u­fac­tured” curry pow­der very much – it doesn’t al­ways agree with me, and In­dian friends have of­ten told me it is not to be found in In­dian homes. Fol­low­ing spicy recipes can so fre­quently in­tro­duce you to un­ex­pected, but en­joy­able flavours, and this recipe does just that.

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