Amazing Stir Fry Beef While Winging It

Everyone’s been there, done that – had life go crazy-nuts. And not in the good kind of crazy, what a hoot kind of way. You know how it goes, take a week’s vacation and come back to the insanity of work piled up everywhere. It’s amazing what you accomplish in a week – it’s even more amazing what doesn’t get accomplished while you were gone, right?

Compound that by three. Hubby, Kiddo and I all work for the same Event/Party Rental Company so when we take a vacation, it’s three people “gone”. Hubby is upper management, I’m his assistant and Kiddo is a department lead – that’s three key positions. You can imagine the workload we came home to – unbelievable! The first week back from our Wyoming get away was long with late nights of playing catch up. The second week exploded unexpectedly with a last-minute high-end event. I won’t bore you with all the details, except to say that the head chef for a three-day private affair is well-known. While the end client might not be a household name, his business is. It took some insane hours to pull it off, but we did it. Week three has been spent in recovery mode. With so much going on, I think I’ve actually “cooked” a week-day meal twice in three weeks. In my opinion, take and bake pizzas and home-made deli sandwiches at midnight DOES NOT constitute home cooking.

One of the meals I had “planned” was After Work Pepper Steak over Steamed Rice. I even went so far as to take the meat out of the freezer the night before to thaw in the fridge for the next day. The next day became a late night, and the night after that and . . . well, you get the picture. I had meat in the fridge that needed to be cooked or thrown out. Yeah, After Work Pepper Steak would have been a good plan – even a great plan, but it just wasn’t in the cards. While the steak doesn’t take long, steaming the rice was out of the question. So, what to do?!

On a night that we managed to stagger home just as the last threads of amber light caressed the evening sky, I found myself staring blankly into the refrigerator only to have a package of round steak and some leftover Pork Fried Rice from an earlier take out staring back at me.

“I’m going to cook.” I announced to no one in particular. There were a few spent moans from the other room. My kitchen staff in exhausted protest. “I  promise, it will be quick and I’ll try my best not to make a big mess.”

It has been a while since I whipped something up without a plan. There are recipes to follow, recipes to inspire and tweak along the way and then there are recipes committed to memory, having “whipped” them up a time or three before. And then there’s creating on a wing and a prayer, without a clue as to what the end result might be. My only “inspiration” was the fried rice. Whatever I made, it had to have an Asian influence.

This stir-fry beef was amazing. Nothing was measured, so the recipe that follows are “guesstimates”. I gathered a few ingredients and did what I always do when “creating” – I sniffed. I know it sound wacky, but that’s what I do when creating something from nothing – sniff. Yep, if my chosen ingredients smell good together, then I’ll go for it. If not, I’ll keep sniffing until I come up with a scent combination that gets my mouth to water.

Next time, I’ll take a few photos along the way.

Amazing Stir-Fried Beef
1 lb Thin Round Steak
1/4-1/2 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
Salt to taste
1 Teaspoon Worcestershire Pub Burger Seasoning (McCormick Grill Mates)
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
Flour, about ¼ cup
Olive Oil
About 1 teaspoon Crushed Roasted Garlic

Place round steak flat on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle LIGHTLY with soy sauce to moisten meat on both sides. Sprinkle with Worcestershire Pub Burger Seasoning and ground ginger, rub into meat.

Place flour in a zip lock bag. Set aside.

Heat a little olive oil in a wok. Cut round steak into thin strips. Toss on the baking sheet to absorb all the seasoned drippings. Place steak strips into zip lock bag, close and shake.

Dump contents of zip lock bag flour and all into wok and stir fry until beef strips are just cooked, about 2-3 minutes. Add crushed garlic, and a splash more soy sauce, toss well. Heat through.

Serve with fried rice.

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