The crisp celeriac matchsticks look like fine pieces of straw when stir-fried, and they have a mild celery-like flavour that is quite delicious.
Avoid buying very large celeriac roots, as they tend to be woody or otherwise unpleasant in texture. As it is rather an unwieldy and knobbly vegetable, celeriac is easier to peel properly if you cut it into more or less even-sized slices first. Then peel each slice individually using a very sharp knife. They need to be peeled quite thickly to obtain a neat edge. You can then easily cut the slices into thin strips.
450 g (1 lb) celeriac
150 ml (1/4 pint) 2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 red pepper
6 spring onions
450 g (1 lb) rump steak
60 ml (4 tbsp) beef stock
30 ml (2 tbsp) sherry vinegar
10 ml (2 tsp) Worcestershire sauce
10 ml (2 tsp) tomato puree
salt and ground black pepper
1. Peel the celeriac and then cut into fine matchsticks, using a cleaver.
2. Heat a wok, then add two-thirds of the oil. When the oil is hot, fry the celeriac matchsticks in batches until golden brown and crispy. Drain well on kitchen paper.
3. Halve, core and seed the red pepper, then slice diagonally into 2.5 cm (1 in) lengths. Slice the spring onions diagonally into 2.5 cm ( 1 in) lengths.
4. Chop the beef into thin strips, across the grain of meat.
5. Heat the wok again and add the remaining oil. When the oil is hot stir-fry the chopped red pepper and spring onion for 2 - 3 minutes
6. Add the beef strips and stir-fry for a further 3 - 4 minutes until browned. Add the stock, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and tomato puree.
7. Season to taste and serve with the celeriac straw.