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Back in the days when we used to order Chinese food deliveries weekly, I would always go for ‘Beef in Black Bean Sauce’, without fail. It’s certainly my dish of choice on any takeaway menu…I love the salty savouriness and the crunch of the green peppers. Dan has become quite a skilled and accomplished cook of almost every cuisine now, so I’m more than happy for him to recreate a Chinese feast at home – and even better, we know exactly what’s going in to it.

It’s the start of the Easter break and we fancied something quick yet tasty…while sinking a few glasses of vino. This dish is both of the above and requires little preparation and cooking time (less than an hour in total).

To make this meal (serves two) you will need:

For the marinade:
– One and a half tablespoons of rice wine
– One tablespoon of light soy sauce
– Half a teaspoon of salt
– One teaspoon of sugar
– One teaspoon of sesame oil
– One tablespoon of cornflour

Method:
– Mix all of the above together in a bowl (except the cornflour). Add the meat and stir well. Add the cornflour and stir well again to thicken the marinade. Put to one side or refrigerate until needed.

– 350g of beef stir fry strips
– Two tablespoons of sunflower oil
– Four tablespoons of spring onions (approx three onions – finely chopped)
– 250ml of beef stock
– Two tablespoons of shallots (finely chopped)
– One tablespoon of garlic (finely chopped)
– Two tablespoons of fresh ginger (finely chopped)
– Two and a half tablespoons of black beans (coarsely chopped)
– Two bell peppers (diced)
– Basmati rice to serve

Method:
– Chop the onion, garlic, ginger and spring onions. Place in a bowl with the black beans.
– Dice the peppers and place in a bowl.
– Heat the oil in a wok, then add the meat. Stir fry for two minutes and set aside.
– Add the rest of the oil and the bowl with onions, ginger etc. Stir fry for one minute.
– Add the peppers and stir fry for two to three minutes.
– Pour in the stock and return the meat to the pan.
– Stir until slightly thickened and serve.

I’ve never been disappointed while eating this dinner. We actually crumbled a dried chilli into the mix tonight…just because I quite fancied an extra kick. And it only enhanced and lifted an already highly pleasing plate. Try it at home. Top nosh indeed.

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