Monday, June 1, 2015

School's Out!

This is my favorite time of year!  I don't have to take anyone anywhere.  Just me in my car going to work.  I don't have to rush to leave work to pick anyone up.  I can mess around a little too long in the grocery store browsing.  I can SLEEP LATER!  It's awesome!  And...I can assign MORE CHORES! Woo-hoo!  I'm actually getting ready to type out a chores list for both of my kids and hang it prominently on the dry erase board.  I can't wait to get home and see their half attempts at getting the chores done.  Ha ha.  But they really do all right.

In celebration of the three whole months of my carpool freedom, we had Chinese food night last night.  It's a huge favorite around here.  It's also a huge production.  But, thankfully, my wonderful husband always pitches in to help. We can't do just a simple main dish and a side dish.  Oh, no. We have to have eggrolls and crab rangoon and fried rice and sweet and sour chicken and homemade sweet and sour sauce.  I told you it's a production.  

But the star of the night was Crispy Orange Beef.  That was actually the easiest recipe of the night.  You take a cheap, tough cut of meat, skirt steak, boil the heck out of it, and then "fry" it in its own fat in the oven.  The outside bits are crispy and the inside is tender.  It's darn tasty!  It makes a heck of a mess in the pot, but a good soak lifts all the mess up.  Enjoy!

One 2-lb skirt steak
1 T fresh ginger
1 T Asian chili paste
8 cloves garlic, mashed and peeled
2 T bacon grease (or oil)
1 T Japanese 7 spice
1 T white miso paste
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 T sesame oil
3/4 C brown sugar
3 T fish sauce
3 C chicken stock
1 C orange juice
2 oranges
1/2 C soy sauce
1/4 C rice wine vinegar
Sesame seeds for garnish, if desired

NOTES:  Asian chili paste is also called sambal oelek.  I can find it at Walmart or big grocery stores.  Japanese 7 spice may be hard to find, but you can substitute Chinese 5 spice. White miso paste may be hard to find.  I found it at a higher end grocery store in the refrigerated part of the produce section.  It's not necessary, so you can leave it out.  

Cut the steak into bite-sized pieces.  Peel the oranges and separate the sections.  Don't discard the peel.  If there are seeds in the oranges, remove them.  Put all of the ingredients including the orange sections and orange peel (not the sesame seeds) into a large pot or dutch oven with a lid.  Bring the pot to a boil.  Continue boiling the pot uncovered until there's only about 1 inch of liquid left, which could take 30-45 minutes.  Remove the orange peel from the pot.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Cover the pot and put it in the oven.  Cook the beef for about 20 minutes to "fry" it in its own fat and crisp up the outside.  Garnish the beef with the sesame seeds, if desired.

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