March 3, 2014

Quick Asian Style Beef

I LOVE this recipe for so many different reasons. It's simple, it's fast and it's pretty economical. It feeds a bunch, it's not terrible for you and best of all... it's so very delicious. I call it Asian style because it's not truly authentic to any one Asian cuisine but does have some Asian elements to it. The pureed Asian pear is a nod to a good friend of mine who is part Korean and who has told me that in Korean cuisine, foods are often times sweetened with pear and to me that sounded healthier and more delicious than brown sugar. I think the pear lends a fruitiness to the dish that is amazing. If you choose to make the dish with brown sugar it will still be incredibly good, especially if you want it to be on the sweeter side. I've made it both ways and while my family preferred it made with the pear, they enjoy both versions. You could also serve this over rice, either brown or white, if you would enjoy that better. If you're trying to watch your calorie intake, as we are, cabbage is a good choice and really tasty. While I have not tried this over cauliflower "rice", I would imagine that would be excellent too. Because of the sugar (or pear puree ) I can't call this a low carb dish, but not using traditional rice does make it a lower carb option.

Notes:
*This dish has a good bit of garlic, red pepper and ginger... feel free to lower the amounts to suit your tastes.
*Use the Asian pear puree OR the brown sugar, not both.
*Try the lower amount of brown sugar first and taste before adding the entire amount. Again, adjust to your preference.
*The sesame oil really is only for flavor, it can be omitted if you would prefer.
*This recipe is also delicious made with ground chicken or turkey.
*Please do use low sodium soy sauce, because it calls for a lot, using regular might yield a dish that is too salty.



Quick Asian Style Beef
Ingredients:
2 pounds ground round (or the very leanest ground beef you can find)
1 Tablespoon sesame oil (more for the flavor than anything, feel free to omit if you like)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes
1/2 to 1 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 peeled and pureed Asian pears (or 1/2 to 3/4  cup brown sugar, see notes above)
2- 10 ounce bags angel hair shredded green cabbage (Coleslaw mix)
1/4 cup of water
Green onions, chopped

Method:
1: Brown ground round in a skillet, drain and return to skillet.
2: In a food processor, puree 2 peeled, cored and chopped Asian pears until smooth.
3: To the skillet with the cooked beef, add sesame oil, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, red pepper flakes and Asian pear puree (or the brown sugar, if you opted to use that instead).
4: Combine well, cover and simmer on low 15-20 minutes. Stirring occasionally to make sure it’s not sticking.
5: While the beef mixture is simmering, sauté the cabbage in a nonstick skillet with a tiny bit of water until just barely wilted. It should still have some bite to it.
6: Line shallow individual bowls with sauteed cabbage and ladle beef mixture over the cabbage.
7: Top with a generous handful of chopped green onion to serve.

Makes 8-10 servings

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