Thursday, March 31, 2011

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Mongolian Beef

Mongolian Beef
We are big PF Change's fans. We are also extremely predictable because we also order the same thing when we go. One of the things we order is their Mongolian Beef. We've tried making this dish at home on a few occasions and it's never quite right. This recipe is the closest we've gotten. I have two complaints with this dish, though. One is an issue with the recipe itself and the other is an issue with the person who cut the meat (cough cough Alex).

My problem with the recipe was that it created too much waste. We could have easily halved the recipe for the sauce and there would have been enough sauce for the beef. Instead we did the whole thing as copied below and ended up not using half the sauce. Also, it was too much oil for frying and, maybe I'm sensitive to vegetable oil, but I could actually taste a hint of the oil in the beef.  My sauce didn't thicken up so I added 2 tsp of water mixed with 2 tsp of corn starch to help thicken up the sauce.

Other than that the recipe was great. It wasn't as sweet as you would expect considering the amount of sugar and it wasn't nearly as tangy as we remember the PF Chang's version being. Also, our beef came out more chewy than crispy because someone (cough cough Alex) cut the beef into bigger chunks than he should have.

PF Chang's Mongolian Beef
Serves 2

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
vegetable oil, for frying (about 1 cup)
1 lb flank steak
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 large green onions

Make the sauce by heating 2 tsp of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over med/low heat.
Don't get the oil too hot. Add ginger and garlic to the pan and quickly add the soy sauce and water before the garlic scorches. Dissolve the brown sugar in the sauce, then raise the heat to about medium and boil the sauce for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Remove it from the heat.

Slice the flank steak against the grain into 1/4" thick bite-size slices. Tilt the blade of your knife at about a forty five degree angle to the top of the steak so that you get wider cuts. Dip the steak pieces into the cornstarch to apply a very thin dusting to both sides of each piece of beef. Let the beef sit for about 10 minutes so that the cornstarch sticks.

As the beef sits, heat up one cup of oil in a wok (you may also use a skillet for this step as long as the beef will be mostly covered with oil). Heat the oil over medium heat until it's nice and hot, but not smoking. Add the beef to the oil and sauté for just two minutes, or until the beef just begins to darken on the edges. You don't need a thorough cooking here since the beef is going to go back on the heat later.

Stir the meat around a little so that it cooks evenly. After a couple minutes, use a large slotted spoon to take the meat out and onto paper towels, then pour the oil out of the wok or skillet.

Put the pan back over the heat, dump the meat back into it and simmer for one minute. Add the sauce, cook for one minute while stirring, then add all the green onions.Cook for one more minute, then remove the beef and onions with tongs or a slotted spoon to a serving plate.

Leave the excess sauce behind in the pan.

1 comment:

Cara said...

Yum! Mongolian Beef is my favorite thing to order at PF Chang's! I just cooked a similar recipe last night. Cutting the meat just right does make a big difference, but I also found out that you can buy pre-tenderized flank steak. That helps a lot too! I was able to get just the right texture. I LOVE Mongolian Beef!