I drove across two and a half states in September to see my parents and, after much persuading, convinced Mom to let me cook meals for them. I chose mostly my weeknight go-to recipes. Quick and easy cooking was even more necessary back in the days that I commuted to and from work and, after errands, would get home too late to spend more than an hour to put food on the table.
This recipe uses red pepper jelly, something I’d never noticed in the market, to make a sweet glaze with only a bit of heat on the back end. I can make this dish three times with one jar of jelly, so it’s easy to keep on hand. It also works for the classic topping to brie or cream cheese if you need a quick appetizer, so it’s a multi-tasker.
A note about the meat. For this dish, I normally use strip steak, trimmed of fat. It’s not an inexpensive cut of meat, so I look for sales and stock up when they’re much cheaper, then pop them in the freezer. As a more affordable substitute, you can use any cut of meat that will be tender enough cut thin, and quickly browned.
Sweet & Spicy Beef Stir Fry with Noodles
- Beef Strip Steak 12-16 ounces
- 8 oz snow peas strings removed
- 2 medium carrots
- 3 shallots thinly sliced
- 4 tsp olive oil divided
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1/4 cup red pepper jelly
- 1 package lo mein noodles
- Bring a 3 qt pot of water to a boil.
- Trim beef of fat, then thinly slice. Season with salt and pepper then set aside.Heat 2 tsp vegetable oil over medium heat in a large non-stick pan until shimmering, then drop in beef in a single layer, quick browning on both sides. Don’t crowd the pan or the beef won’t brown well. You may need to cook in batches. Set aside on a plate and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm.
- Add 2 more tsp of vegetable oil to the hot pan, then add the carrots, stirring often until they begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the shallots and continue to cook until they begin to soften. Finally, add the snow peas, cooking until the vegetables are at the desired tenderness.
- When you’re mid-way through cooking the vegetables, add the lo mein noodles to the boiling water and cook according to package directions.
- Add the jelly to the hot pan of vegetables and stir gently until it incorporates. I generally let it bubble a bit to thicken up before adding the beef with the accumulated juices.
- Serve the stir-fry over lo mein noodles.