Beef Briefs from Further East
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.