Dry Fried Fillet of Beef – It’s a done deal. Feed us. Chop chop old man.

It’s my own fault. I suggested that as I was cooking for the Wife and myself, I might include my eldest and her boyfriend in the pot. They gratefully accepted my offer. Then they did what great negotiators the world over do when they have a deal over the line. They changed the terms.

“We are going to a party and it starts at 9.00. I said we would be early. How long will dinner take?” was the opening twist of the knife. Like the subservient downtrodden father that I am, I took this to heart and got chopping and chopping and chopping. I had not reckoned on this pressure when I decided to prepare my own version of Dry Fried Fillet of  Beef with Available Vegetables and Rice. (By available I mean the selection in the fridge.) I got the idea when my butcher in offered me Beef Fillet Tails at a price that was too good to refuse.

Here’s what you will need

  • A half kilo (1 pound) of fillet beef – tails if you live in a crumbling economy like Ireland
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 carrots

    The main ingredients. The Beef Fillet tails worked really well.

  • Some mange tout
  • 2 chilis
  • 4 spring onions
  • 5 cm (2 inches) of ginger
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  •  2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of rice wine (or sherry, if you were born before 1940)
  • 1 tablespoon of chili oil
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of peanut oil or similar for frying
  • 1 teaspoon of ground Szechuan peppercorns. (Use black or white pepper if you are stuck but the Szechuan really gives a lift like no other to this dish.)

Now for the difficult bit. Get chopping. Cut the top 8 things on my list above into matchstick size pieces (or as close as you can get).

Gratuitous picture of chopped vegetables. I liked the angle so I included it.

Wash and boil the rice.

Pretty well everything you will need. Chopped and ready to cook.

When the rice is done, put the wok heat until smoking. Then add the peanut oil and heat that until smoking.

Add the beef to the smoking oil and stir, stir, stir.

Add the beef and cook it until the oil turns to a disgusting sludge colour. Then keep cooking it. Keep cooking it while fending off questions like I had to. “We need to go soon Dad, when will it be ready?”

Trust me, it gets better than this. Keep stirring and stirring.

And keep cooking it and stirring it. Do this until all the moisture is gone out of the beef and the oil has turned back to a nice clear consistency. The beef will now be a nice dark brown colour.  Then add the teaspoon of sugar and stir again.

At last, the oil starts to get clear. The beef starts to turn a nice brown colour.

Then add the vegetables, garlic, chili and ginger. Stir, stir, stir until the vegetables are just cooked.

They look amazing. but the aromas of garlic, chili oil, chilis, ginger and beef are almost overpowering.

Sprinkle the Szechuan pepper over the dish. Give it a final couple of stirs. Serve it over rice.

I am really happy with this dish. It tastes amazing and is a lot simpler to do than many dry fried recipes.

Take comfort, as I did, in the fact that you were cooking anyway and all you did was twice the chopping, twice the sweating over a hot wok and the added time pressure.  If you are as lucky as I was, you might get a kiss on your bald head and a “Thanks Dad, that was delicious.” Funny, that makes it all worthwhile. Chop, chop.
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Latest comments
  • Delicious!

  • Definitely gotta try this one!

  • Upon reading the first paragraph I must admit to thinking he’s gone to far this time…..his eldest and her boyfriend in the pot, pure cannibalism!!


    Then I read on and what started out as pity for his eldest and her unfortunate boyfriend in this “pot” turned into jealousy, what a feast they had.

    My bad 🙂

    Must try this one

  • I like the gratuitous picture of chopped vegetables too. 🙂 All the pictures are inviting and it looks delicious.

  • What a good looking stir fry, I am so drooling now

  • That resonates on so many levels – although mine are young enough that the main hassle is ‘Is it ready yet?’. ‘Is it ready now?’, ‘When will it be ready?’. ‘Why isn’t it ready?’ . The younger one will insert ‘Daddy’ into each query to ensure I don’t snap.

  • My mouth is definitely watering. Looks fantastic! I especially love the second to last photo – the colors are so wonderful. I’m going to have to practice my chopping skills before I can make something that looks even half as good.


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