Stir-fried beef with cashews


serves 4
500 g (1 lb) rump steak or flash-fry steak, cut 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick and all fat removed
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, crushed (optional)
4 spring onions, cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) pieces
1 large onion, chopped
50 g (2 oz) unsalted cashew nuts
1 small green or red pepper, deseeded and cut into thin strips
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon cornflour
150 ml (1/4 pint) chicken stock
2 teaspoons medium sherry
2 teaspoons soy sauce
salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Dry the beef on absorbent paper. Place it between 2 sheets of greaseproof paper and beat to flatten, with a wooden rolling pin. Using kitchen scissors, snip the beef into thin strips about 5 cm/2 inches long.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying-pan or wok, add half the beef strips, stir for about 1 minute until browned on all sides, remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and reserve. Heat 1 further tablespoon of oil in the pan, add the remaining beef strips, stir-fry in the same way and reserve.

3. Heat the remaining oil in the pan, add the garlic, if using, spring onions, onion, cashew nuts and pepper strips and fry gently for 3-4 minutes, stirring, until the vegetables are tender and the nuts lightly browned. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the ginger.

4. Blend the cornflour with the chicken stock, sherry and soy sauce to make a smooth paste, and stir into the pan.

5. Return to the heat, bring to the boil, lower heat and simmer gently for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

6. Return the reserved cooked beef strips to the pan and stir over gentle heat until heated through. Serve at once in individual bowls.

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