Thursday, March 4, 2010

Beef and Vegetable Stirfry

As I have mentioned, my husband and I own and operate a small contruction company.  We do commercial HVAC.  (that's heating ventilating and air conditioning, if you don't know)  So when you are in an office and you look up at the grilles in the ceiling with conditioned air coming out of it, or you go shopping at the mall on a hot day and it's nice and cool in the stores, that's the work we do.. 

I work as the estimator.  I look at plans which were prepared by a mechanical engineer and add up all the costs associated with the work, including materials, equipment, rentals, subcontracted work and our own labor and come up with a bid for the work.  If I'm the low bidder, we get the job.  At that point, my husband and step-son take over and manage with work with the help of our crew of installers.

That's what I do.  My work can be rewarding and scary and satisfying and stressful.  When I come home at night, I'm tired and ready to be happy and feel good with my family. 

So, although I love to cook, I often don't want to.  Like every cook, I have ways to make my life easier.  Here is a recipe my husband likes a lot and goes together easily.

Beef Stir Fry Supper

4 cube steaks or approximately 1 1/4 lbs of cube steak cut into bite size pieces
2 t. olive oil
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch strips
1 lb mushroom, cleaned and quartered
3/4 c. frozen peas
Sauce: 1/4 t. minced fresh ginger, 3 T. soy sauce, 1/4 c. white wine, 1 C. water or beef broth, 1 1/2 t. hoisen sauce. 1 1/2 t. cornstarch

Heat oil in a skillet and add the cube steak.   Cook meat moving it around in a skillet until it is no longer pink.  Remove meat to a pie plate.  If there is more than 1 T. of liquid in the pan, drain off all but 1 T.   Add vegetables and cook they soften slightly but are still firm  Add sauce and bring to a boil.  The sauce will thicken because of the cornstarch once it comes to a full boil.  Serve immediately over cooked rice.
I bought this meat for $2.29 per pound.   This easily makes 5 or 6 servings so you have a frugal meal here.  Buy a piece of ginger and keep it frozen.  Take whatever you need each time and put it back in the freezer so you get every bit.  A little ginger goes a long way. 
On Cooking Rice
Some people have trouble cooking rice, but it is really very simple.  2 cups water.  Bring it to a full boil.  1/2 t. salt into the water.  Measure out 1 cup of rice.  Add it to the pot.  Stir just enough to get all the rice wet.  Bring it back to a full rolling boil and immediately put on the lid and turn the heat to low.  Do those two things together.  Don't open the lid to check.  Don't touch it.  Come back in 20 minutes and you've got rice.

Remember to relax.


  1. As I head back to work, I realize I'm going to have to take into account how much time dinner takes. Also there is going to have to be a lot more preparation. And I think I'll leave a lot of it up to my husband. But I'll miss cooking. I'll keep this recipe in mind and we'll see how it fits in.

  2. Hi LeAnn,
    I made this dish last night. It was very good! Thank you for the idea. As a budding cook, what I most want are ideas. I've been able to follow recipes.

    The ginger made a nice addition. But cube steak cost twice what you paid. Man at the store said it was on sale last week ;( So I only used a half pound of beef, and used twice the veggies. You know, just use what you have in the fridge. Yes, rice is easy.

  3. Oh, Orval, I'm so happy that you liked it. Now that you have the ingredients for the sauce, I recommend it for anything you want to turn "Asian" instead of a purchased bottled sauce. I agree with half the meat and twice the veggies, but you know your brother. As for cube steak being twice the cost! Your cost of living in fancy-town California is higher, I'm sure, but twice? I recommend buying the meat that is on sale each week and putting it in the freezer. I'm so glad you are a budding cook. I was talking to your daughter (oldest) about this on facebook. Sounds like she is also. As I told her, keep at it.