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Hoi Soy Beef
thinly-sliced beef in a rich hoisin sauce

  Lean meat, especially steak, can be expensive; and no matter what it costs and how much care is taken with the cooking, it can still end up as tough as old boots. That's why I like this recipe. A small amount of thinly-sliced meat seems to go a long way; and stir-fried for just a couple of minutes, then finished off in the sauce produces tender, tasty beef every time. This is Chinese-style made easy; and because it freezes well, hoi-soy beef can be prepared in advance for your up-coming Oriental dinner party.

Note for Gluten Free preparation: Some Hoisin and Soy Sauces are NOT Gluten Free! Here are a few claiming to be Gluten Free that are available to us: Wok Mei Gluten Free Hoisin Sauce, Lee Kum Kee Soy and Hoisin Sauces, Kikkoman Soy Sauce, San-J Soy Sauce and Eden Organic Soy Sauce. Please be careful.

350g lean beef steak
1 medium onion
½ green capsicum
1 tsp minced garlic
½ tsp minced ginger
1 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp red wine
½ cup warm water
2 Tbsps light-tasting olive oil
¼ cup cold water
1 level Tbsp cornflour (corn starch)
1 beef stock cube (or 1 rounded tsp stock powder)
½ tsp sesame oil
¼ tsp Chinese five spices

Thinly slice the steaks. This will be easier if they are partially frozen. In a suitable dish, mix together the wine, hoisin and soy sauces, turn in the beef slices to coat, then leave to marinate for 15 minutes. In the meantime, cut the onion lengthways through the core into eighths. Remove pith and seeds from the capsicum and cut into 1cm wide strips. Make up the stock with the cube or powder in warm water. Mix the cornflour in a separate dish with cold water, then stir into the stock.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a wok or frypan, then stir-fry the onion and capsicum for 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Put in the second tablespoon of olive oil to warm, then add the five spices, garlic and ginger to heat for a few seconds. Now fry the beef for about 2 minutes, turning occasionally to sear and lose the red colour, but avoid over-cooking to keep it tender. Return the onion and capsicum to the pan and toss with the beef.

Give the stock a stir before adding it to any left-over marinade, then pour into the pan while stirring. Continue to stir until the sauce thickens. Before serving, add the sesame oil and toss to combine.

Serves 4 with rice and vegetables         Freezes well

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