Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Stir-Fried Beef and Sugar Snap Peas #recipe @LeslieBudewitz

LESLIE BUDEWITZ: We’ve made broccoli-beef for years, with a recipe much adapted from an old Weight Watchers cookbook. It’s easy and tasty, and quick enough for a weeknight dinner. Plus the leftovers make great lunches, a plus for a couple who both work at home.

So I didn’t necessarily need this recipe from the New York Times Food column, but it looked too wonderful to pass by. And I’ve learned to trust the NYT’s recipes, especially those created by Melissa Clark, as this was. (As usual, I’ve revised the list and instructions a bit.) Don’t be daunted by the list of ingredients – just take it step-by-step, and I think it will become a favorite in your house, too.

Clark suggests any lean cut of beef meat — flank steak, London broil, tenderloin, sirloin or skirt steak — so long as it is cut thin against the grain. We used flank steak. Because the strips are long, we cut them again; you may not need to, depending on what cut of beef you use.

Snow peas are the takeout staple, but this recipe calls for sugar snaps, which I like because of the crunch and substance – you know you’ve eaten a vegetable when you chomp into one. Clark’s version calls for thinly slicing them; we discovered that wasn’t necessary, and simply cut them into bite-sized pieces. (Costco carries 2-pound bags.)

I admit, I cocked my head at using chicken stock in a beef dish, but it does make a great sauce – soy or tamari, sesame oil, chicken broth, and sherry or Madeira.

We use Mr. Right’s ancient rice cooker, and started the rice about the time we started cooking. I estimate prep and cooking time at about twenty minutes each.

(I’m finally trying out the new camera I got for Christmas – I admit, it scares me a bit! – so forgive the slightly off-kilter pics.) The final product looks better than my shot of it!)

Stir-Fried Beef and Sugar Snap Peas

1 pound lean beef, cut into 1/4-inch strips (cut again, optional)
3 tablespoons tamari or dark soy sauce (divided use)
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, more for drizzling
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
3-4 fat scallions, including the green tops (save dark portion of tops for garnish)
2/3 cup chicken broth
2 ½ tablespoons Madeira or sweet sherry
1 tablespoon cornstarch (or arrowroot, if you don't use corn)
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced

White rice, for serving
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (optional)
Sriracha or other hot sauce, or rice wine vinegar for garnish

In a medium bowl, mix beef, 2 tablespoons tamari, sesame oil, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Slice the trimmed sugar snap peas into bite-sized pieces, about one inch. Thinly slice scallions, reserving dark green parts for garnish.

In a small bowl, mix chicken broth, Madeira or sherry, 2 tablespoons water, remaining 1 tablespoon tamari, and cornstarch.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil. When pan is hot, stir-fry beef until browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer beef and any liquid to a shallow bowl.

Add remaining tablespoon oil to skillet and when hot, add garlic and white and light green scallion parts until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Add sugar snap peas and chicken broth mixture, lower heat to medium, and cover. Let cook for 2 minutes. Transfer beef and juices to skillet and stir-fry 2 minutes. Serve over rice, and garnish with sesame oil, sesame seeds, dark parts of scallions, and hot sauce or vinegar.

Serves 4.   


(That's rice in the oat canister, not oatmeal!)

Serves 4.


From the cover of AS THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE CRUMBLES, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #5 (Midnight Ink, 2018, available for pre-order now):  

In Jewel Bay---Montana's Christmas Village---all is merry and bright. At Murphy’s Mercantile, AKA the Merc, manager Erin Murphy is ringing in the holiday season with food, drink, and a new friend: Merrily Thornton. A local girl gone wrong, Merrily’s turned her life around. But her parents have publicly shunned her, and they nurse a bitterness that chills Erin.

When Merrily goes missing and her boss discovers he’s been robbed, fingers point to Merrily—until she’s found dead, a string of lights around her neck. The clues and danger snowball from there. Can Erin nab the killer—and keep herself in one piece—in time for a special Christmas Eve?

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. A past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.


  1. Love sugar snap peas! Although I keep wondering why our local market has to import them from Guatemala. I grew them briefly when we lived in the Berkeley area--the gophers were very fond of them too.

    1. Those silly, omnivorous gophers! This time of year, a lot of produce is imported, but we were in CA a few weeks ago and saw the fields coming on!

  2. Yum! How about some slivers of carrots to add a color accent?
    I've read before to use chicken broth with beef. That's what I use with stews (other than the inevitable wine).
    I agree about sugar snaps--more snap for your money.

    1. Ooh, great addition -- or a red bell pepper, julienned. Thanks!

    2. I love the look of red (yellow, whatever) peppers, but they tend to come back on me later.

  3. I love sugar snap and snow peas so much! And such a quick, easy meal. Thanks for sharing, Leslie! I think the pics you took are just fine.

    1. Thanks, Amanda! I loved my old SLR, long retired, but the technophobe in me is a little afraid of the new digital one!