Black Pepper Beef Stir Fry is a typical Cantonese cuisine. It is certainly a favourite takeout dish for anyone craving for Chinese cuisine. Commonly, they make this black pepper beef stir fry with beef slices, seared in a sizzling wok until brown. Followed by cooking until soft and tender in a black peppercorn sauce. They make the sauce with form ground black pepper, oyster sauce and soy sauce. Then tossed with vegetables like capsicums or bell peppers and onions. Other popular meat used are chicken or pork. Stir-fried dishes are simple to prepare, full of flavour and perfect weekday dinners for everyone.
Gluten Free Black Pepper Beef Stir Fry
For my gluten free black pepper beef stir fry recipe, I am using beef rump steaks sliced into cubes. In addition, you can use any lean and tender steak, and a popular cut is frank steak. Likewise, I seared the beef cubes until brown and tender in a non stick wok. Then stir fried in coarsely ground black peppercorns sauce made with blackstrap molasses and medium dry sherry. Subsequently, adding fresh and crisp fresh onion, spring onions (shallots) and capsicums. Making this black pepper beef stir fry a delicious and well balanced meal. My black pepper beef stir fry recipe is also soy free, dairy free, egg free, nut free and corn free.
Chinese Restaurant Style Meat (Velveting)
Ever wonder why meat in Chinese restaurant dishes are so soft and tender?! Normally, chefs use economical cuts of meat in Chinese restaurants, which means meat can be quite tough. “Velveting” is their secret to tenderizing meat and achieving soft and tender texture. Simply add baking soda (also called bicarbonate of soda) to raw meat. Likewise, you can use either beef, chicken or pork, mix well and let the meat rest for 30 minutes. Thoroughly rinse and drain the meat, followed by marinating the meat.
Usually, marinating ingredients include some corn starch or potato starch (sometimes rice flour). As well as ground white pepper, medium dry sherry, salt or gluten free soy sauce before stir frying. This process of marinating will also soften the meat giving it a smooth and delicate texture. Mostly, I use this method of marinating meat in many of my stir fry recipes. A technique that I learnt from my mum for her home cooking style.
All About Capsicums (Bell Peppers or Peppers)
Capsicums (also known as bell peppers or peppers) belong to the flowering plants genus of the nightshade family Solanaceae. Likewise, they originated in Central and South America. And farmers farmed and ate capsicums since many thousands of years ago. The famous explorer Christopher Columbus introduced capsicums to Europe and then the rest of the world. Many chefs feature capsicums as an ingredient in many different cuisines worldwide. Many people not only consume capsicums as food vegetables and spices but also used as medicine.
In addition, capsicums have shapes that resemble bell shaped fruits. And we distinguish them by their vibrant and shiny appearance. They are of different colours comprising of red, orange, yellow and green. Often known as sweet peppers as they do not have capsaisin, a compound that generates hotness in chilli peppers. Capsicums are highly versatile in culinary uses. We can use them raw in salad, add to stir fry dishes and stews, stuff, roast, bake and even pickle.
Nutritional Values of Capsicums
Furthermore, Capsicums are an excellent source of essential vitamins and mineral like vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium. They are also a good source of dietary fiber, folate (vitamin B9), vitamin K, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium. In addition, capsicums have valuable bioactive composites from their flavonoids contents. Especially alkaloids and tannins, which have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-septic and antioxidant functions.
In addition, farmers will pick green capsicums before they completely ripen. Whereas yellow and orange capsicums are midway ripen when picked. Whereas farmers only harvest fully ripen red capsicums. That is why red capsicums have more beneficial nutrients and higher carotenoid (beta-carotene) contents. Which are essential antioxidants in fruits and vegetables with radiant colours.
Health Benefits of Capsicums
The overall health benefits of capsicums may include:
- Support healthy eyes and lower risks of age related eye diseases;
- Boosts the body’s immune system;
- Lower risks of cardiovascular diseases;
- Enhance skin health and decreases signs of aging skin;
- Reduce risks of cancer especially pancreas, bladder, prostate, cervical and breast cancers;
- Improves central nervous system health;
- Prevent and cure anaemia;
- Relief symptoms of food poisoning and fungal infections; and
- Regulates blood pressure; and lowers risks of strokes.
For nutritional values and health benefits of beef rump steak, refer Braised Beef with Shiitake Mushrooms and Black Fungus recipe.
Black Pepper Beef Stir-Fry
- 8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 kg beef rump steak preferably grass fed, trimmed and cut into 2 cm (0.8 inch) cubes
- 3 cloves garlic peeled and finely minced
- 2 inch ginger peeled and finely grated
- 1 medium red capsicum cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 medium green capsicum cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 medium brown onion halved and cut into wedges
- 3 spring onions shallots, sliced into 1½ inch pieces lengthwise (white and green parts)
- 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorn coarsely ground
- 2 tablespoons medium dry sherry
- Steamed rice to serve
For tenderising the beef:
- 2 tablespoons baking soda also called bicarbonate of soda
For the Sauce:
For the Marinade:
- 2 teaspoons potato starch
- ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
- For tenderising the beef, add the baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) to the beef pieces, mix and rub well. Rest on benchtop for 30 minutes. Then wash thoroughly and drain.
- Combine the tenderised beef pieces with the marinade in a large bowl and mix well.
- Prepare and mix the sauce ingredients except the potato starch mixture in a separate bowl. Set aside.
- Heat up a non-stick wok with 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, pan-fry the beef on medium heat for 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove beef and set aside.
- Add another 4 tablespoons of oil to the wok, then add garlic, ginger, and ground black peppercorn and stir-fry until black peppercorns are aromatic and garlic is lightly golden on low heat.
- Add all the capsicums, onion, spring onions (shallots) and medium dry sherry and stir-fry for 1 minute on high heat.
- Return the beef to the wok and stir-fry for another 2 minutes on high heat.
- Then add the sauce mixture prepared in step 3 and stir-fry for 2 minutes on high heat.
- Add the potato starch mixture and bring to a boil. Continue to stir-fry until the sauce thickens and the dish is heated through.
- Serve immediately with rice.