Dishing up Shan's Black Pepper Beef

One of the joys of Chinese cooking is the possibility of dishing up a tasty meal in mere minutes.
In preparation for cooking Shan’s Black Pepper Beef I decided to do some homework on Chinese cooking. Thanks to a blogger/ tweeter friend The Silver Chicken @silverchicken1 I discovered Gok Cooks Chinese – a six week, Channel 4 TV series in which Gok Wan @therealgokwan, a well known fashion expert (who I have to admit I’d never heard of before today – sorry Gok) recreates his family’s recipes and cooks them alongside his Dad, Papa Wan.
So far I’ve only had the chance to watch the first episode on “Catch Up” on Channel 4’s 4oD App on iPad (only accessible in the UK and Ireland) but a few things were obvious – preparation is key – line up your bottled Chinese flavourings, have all the fresh ingredients prepped and in separate bowls in advance and cooking is a cinch. Visit for more details.
It wasn’t difficult to find Oyster sauce and Shaoxing Chinese Rice Wine in Good Food Ireland Member Kate’s Farm Shop in Wexford, Ireland along with all the fresh vegetables I needed and the excellent fillet beef came from Wallace’s SuperValu in Wellington Bridge, Wexford. I used groundnut oil for cooking to give that authentic Chinese flavour but rapeseed or sunflower oil could also be used,

All set and ready to cook

Frying off the drained beef took just 2 minutes but I need to invest in a wok which isn’t non-stick so that I can get a crispier finish.
Frying off the beef

I removed the beef and wiped out the wok as instructed by Shan and it took only a minute in total to fry off the garlic, ginger, spring onion and added thinly sliced onion rings.
Garlic, spring onion, ginger and sliced onion

I took Shan’s advice and used a mix of one red and one green pepper, asparagus and a thinly sliced green chilli (with the seeds removed) which added colour and flavour to the dish. The trick at this stage seems to be minimal cooking so that the vegetables heat through but retain their crunch.
Stir-frying the vegetables

Then all I had to do was add back the beef, some black pepper and a dash of light soy sauce for luck.
Hei Jiao Niu Liu

The end result was absolutely scrumptious and filling served with some plain rice. It took about 15 to 20 minutes to prepare from start to finish. I used two fillet steaks, which weighed about 400g, for two people but one large one would have been sufficient.  I can definitely recommend this dish. Yummy.
If you’d like to try a hand at this dish yourself, have a look at Shan’s Black Pepper Beef Recipe. Please leave a comment too, I’d love to hear how you got on!

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