Chili Beef with Pickled Cauliflower
Chili Beef with Pickled Cauliflower

Chili Beef with Pickled Cauliflower is not a traditional dish in the cuisine of any particular country as far as I know. Rather, this dish was put together to use and showcase some of my own homemade Simple Cauliflower Pickle. The result does rather have the flavors of South Asia, though, and it would probably fit, both in terms of taste and appearance, in a meal alongside other Indian dishes.


The Ingredients

  • 1lb. Beef steak, sliced into thin strips;
  • 2 cups Pickled Cauliflower Florets*;
  • 4 large dried Guajillo Chilies;
  • 1 pinch each Salt and Pepper;
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch;
  • 1 tbsp. Vegetable Oil;
  • 3 tbsp. Sugar;
  • 1 tbsp. Coriander Seed, ground;
  • 1 tsp. Fennel Seed, ground;
  • ½ cup finely chopped Onion;
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Paste.
  • 1 or more Tbsp Hot Chili Paste;

*Notes: You can use a commercial pickled cauliflower for this recipe, or you can also try my recipe for a Simple Cauliflower Pickle.

The Method

Seasoned beef strips ready for frying
Seasoned beef strips ready for frying

First, toss the beef strips with the salt, pepper and cornstarch, then mix in the oil. Set aside for the moment.

Soaking dried chilis to make the sauce base
Soaking dried chilies to make the sauce base

Cut up the chilies and pour over a cup of boiling water. Allow this to cool and soak until the chilies are soft.

Mixing the sauce ingredients
Mixing the sauce ingredients

Now, use your food processor to whizz the chilies, along with their soaking liquid to a fine puree, adding the sugar, coriander and fennel about half-way through. Strain the result to remove any recalcitrant hard pieces and add enough water, if necessary, to make up a cup or so of sauce.

Pre-cooking the beef by deep-frying
Pre-cooking the beef by deep-frying

Deep fry the beef strips in two batches using 2 cups of oil at moderate heat and remove when the outside is just brown but the inside is only partially cooked.

The final cooking
The final cooking

Heat 4 tablespoons of oil in a pan over moderately high heat and fry the onion and garlic until the onion is soft, then add the sauce, followed by the beef, and as much, or as little hot chili paste as you like.

Continue to cook until the sauce reduces and a little oil begins to separate out at the edges of the pan then stir in the cauliflower. Cook for a few minutes more until all is heated through then plate and serve.

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