Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Spicy Szechuan Beef Soup

Well tonight Elaine is gone with Quincy so I am on my own...and that means...Cooking HOT food!!! I usually try and think up something hot and new when she is gone. Basically, I am my own Guinea Pig on the heat and taste scale.
I love soup and with the weather getting cooler, warm soup is always good. I have been wanting to make MaPo Tofu for a long time (will discuss that dish in another post) so I thought I would fashion this new soup after that but without pork or tofu. So I am going to settle on round steak that is browned and then simmered for a few hours to break it down a little. Behold...
1 - 2 star anise
1 TBL spoon Szechuan peppercorns
1 TBL spoon fennel seed
1 TBL cumin powder
1 TBL  red pepper flakes

1 TBL spoon Chinese hot bean paste
1/2 t-spoon fish sauce
1 t-spoon sesame oil
5 1" pieces of cilantro STEMS, chopped (stems have a ton more flavor, but need to be cleaned better - very sandy)
1 TBL spoon chili oil
2-3 Fresno chilies, chopped
1-2 Serrano chilies, chopped
1" piece ginger, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped

*NOTE: Use 1-2 Thai chilies in place of Fresno and Serrano if you have them. 4-5 if you want to die young.

2 Lbs. beef round or sirloin
1 " piece of ginger, chopped
1/4 C soy sauce

1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1/2 head cabbage, chopped
3 C beef stock
2 C water

First, marinade the beef for 30 mintues or so - not more than an hour though.

Grind all dry ingredients in a spice grinder and toast in a dry skillet - set aside.

Combine all wet ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth - set aside.

Drain beef of marinade and try to wipe off as much excess moisture as possible - if not, the oil will go ape shit on you and then you'll be burned - not cool at all. Stir fry on high heat until browned but not done. Set aside.

Heat some oil over high heat and stir fry onion and carrot. After about two minutes, add the wet paste and stir fry. Be careful to keep stiring - with any sugar it will burn easily. Add the meat and stir to coat and let cook for another minute. Add the stock and water and bring to a boil - then bring down to a simmer on low and cover with both tin foil and the lid. Simmer for 2 - 3 hours. When done, add cabbage and simmer 10 minutes. Check seasonings and add fish sauce, etc. if needed. Garnish with cliantro and cabbage and have a towel to wipe your head.

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