I have a bit of a peanut butter obsession, although it’s usually contained to desserts. But one night when I was thinking of what I wanted to make with steak for tea, my obsession branched out to peanut butter in dinner too. It’s THAT versatile…I can’t say that about my beloved chocolate – I haven’t yet ventured into the world of savoury chocolate dishes. Blegh. I shudder at the thought.
This dish is a really easy meal to whip up and a delicious way to use up red meat. You could also use chicken in this, but I usually like to use beef as I need the extra iron whenever I can get it!
A FEW NOTES (OK, A LOT OF NOTES)
Instead of soy sauce, this recipe uses tamari – a gluten free alternative that you should be able to get from supermarkets. I also use some sweet chilli sauce in this recipe which, of course, has lots of added sugar. If you are trying to cut down on refined sugars, you can use an artificially sweetened sweet chilli sauce (although it may have some nasty sweeteners in it instead) or alternatively, make something similar with a mix of hot chilli paste and rice malt syrup or honey.
Also, make sure you use a good curry powder as you can definitely taste the difference in this dish. My favourite is the mild curry powder from Goodies and Grains – mum found it in there on one of her many Adelaide trips and it has the best flavour.
When I cook the beef strips, I do it in batches like most recipes have told me too before – it does make a difference. I know it’s a bit annoying and takes extra time, but if its chucked it all in a once (which I have done many times before), it will start stewing and go all tough. And you will spend all dinner looking like a savage trying to rip through the beef…not a pretty sight, am I right? My poetic dad would be proud of that rhyme, it’s so fine. Ok I’m stopping now.
For this recipe, I did three batches, but it depends on how much meat you are using (for example, use extra if this is for 4 guys – guys eat a lot…). Basically, just don’t crowd the pan. Like my past children’s church leaders used to tell us: don’t be a space invader. Beef does indeed have a personal space bubble. Show some respect.
You can buy beef stir fry strips, which work well, but it is cheaper to buy the steak and cut it into strips yourself if you are trying to save money. It sounds obvious and most of you would know, but it makes a big difference what steak you buy – once I did just buy this random steak that was on special for some recipe and cut it into strips to use, cooked it, and it was soooo chewy! You don’t need to buy the super expensive stuff, middle of the range rump is the best bet if you want to buy the steak and cut it up yourself.
A word of warning, this dish isn’t exactly diet friendly…it’s got a lot of peanut butter in it! Which is probably why is tastes so good…so if you are trying to lose weight or cut back on kJs – this is one to keep for special occasions. It’s such an easy show-off dish if people come over – you can make it look pretty so easily with all the colourful garnishes.
SATAY BEEF (GLUTEN + DAIRY + EGG FREE)
– 1 + 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil
– 600–800 g (1.3-1.7 pounds) lean beef, cut into strips (across the grain)
– 3/4 cup natural peanut butter
– 1 cup light coconut milk
– 3 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
– 2 1/2 tablespoons tamari
– 2 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
– 2 1/2 teaspoons good-quality mild curry powder
– 2 garlic cloves, crushed
– 1 x 1 cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated
– cooked rice or vegetables, to serve
– coriander, sliced chilli, and chopped peanuts, to garnish
Combine peanut butter, coconut milk, sweet chilli sauce, tamari, lime juice, curry powder, garlic, and ginger in a medium bowl.
Looks like me on a bad hair day. Now whisk it. Easy. Set aside
Heat 1/2 tablespoon of the oil in a large fry pan over a medium-high heat. Make sure the oil is nice and hot before you add some of the beef strips. If it isn’t hot, the meat will cook for too long to get brown enough and will be all chewy.
Test a beef strip by placing it in the oil and if it sizzles, add 1/3 of the strips, so the pan isn’t crowded.
Brown on all sides – it should take a few minutes if the pan is hot enough. Remove strips and place on a plate. Cover the plate with alfoil and let them chill out there while you repeat the above steps for the other two batches of beef strips.
Once the last batch of beef is browned, add the rest of the cooked beef strips and the sauce to the fry pan and stir to combine. Bring the sauce to a simmer and heat until sauce is nice and hot and the meat is cooked to your liking. I like my steak pink in the middle, so I just simmer it for a couple of minutes so the sauce is hot and so my beef doesn’t overcook and get tough.
Serve with rice or a side of vegetables (the satay sauce makes them taste better!) and make it pretty with the coriander, chilli, and chopped peanuts.