Brooke’s Spicy Beef Stir Fry

This week we are excited to bring you not just a delicious recipe, but a cool story from an Arizona native and foodie, Brooke Phelps. Brooke has connected to agriculture, and specifically beef, through 4-H and it looks like she’ll be sticking around for awhile (see her story about her future husband’s family farm). She often posts drool-worthy Instagram stories featuring her family’s foodie creations which is what inspired us to ask her to share with you all! Enjoy and be prepared with a snack. Guaranteed this blog post will make you hungry!


 

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Meet Brooke! AZ Native, University of Arizona grad, and foodie.

I’m a total foodie at heart and normally plan my days around meals. Doesn’t everyone do that? My mom (Jacque Phelps) gave me her passion for cooking. Growing up I always loved to learn from her (still do!) and help her in the kitchen. Nowadays we love to make up recipes and cook together! I’m a beef eater through and through. In fact, my whole family is a family of beef eaters. It’s usually not a real meal unless it has beef in it. Don’t get me wrong, I love seafood, pork and the occasional chicken dish but it seems like most of my favorite meals include beef.

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Brooke’s mom and fellow beef eater, Jacque Phelps, and Brooke.

I grew up in the small town of San Manuel; my family has a car dealership off Highway 77 in Oracle. Even though we weren’t directly tied into agriculture, there has always been a strong influence from family and friends. I raised steers and veal calves for 4 -H at the Pinal County Fair and I think that is what really validated my love for agriculture. After high school I went on to the University of Arizona where I graduated with a BS in Agriculture Communications in 2016. I now work for the Arizona Association of Conservation Districts as their communications director. I’ll soon be living on an Arizona dairy farm with my future husband (Clint Gladden) whose family farms and dairy in Palo Verde, AZ.

This is a great weeknight savior for the leftover veggies in the fridge that you haven’t used and are soon going to go bad. It can also be a great Sunday dinner. I love stir-fry because it is endlessly customizable and lightning fast to whip together. This combo is currently one of my favs. This recipe should and needs to be in every Arizona family’s weeknight rotation.

I am a spicy food addict and most of my meals contain some heat in one way or another. I like my Spicy Beef Stir Fry with lots of Thai Chilies. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but the good news is it’s optional for the non-spicy folks in the crowd.

Ingredients
1-½ lbs. of thinly sliced beef Top Sirloin cut across the grain into bite-size strips
1 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, divided
1 ½ tablespoons of sesame oil, divided
5 or so Thai chilies (optional, could replace with a milder chili or just add some red pepper flakes)
½ cup of teriyaki sauce
½ cup spicy stir- fry sauce
¼ cup of sliced carrots
¼ cup of bean sprouts
6 chopped green onions
1 ½ cup of sliced white mushrooms
1 ½ cup of broccoli
8 oz. of cooked Pad Thai rice noodles
NOTE: If you can’t find Pad Thai noodles you could substitute with spaghetti or rice

Recipe Preparation
Marinate meat with your favorite teriyaki sauce for at least 30 min. I included a picture of mine that I get from Trader Joe’s.

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Heat 1 Tbsp. of oil (part veg oil part sesame oil) in a large skillet or wok over high heat. When the oil is simmering add broccoli and mushrooms, tossing until mushrooms are browned and tender, about 2-3 minutes.  Add carrots, green onion, bean sprouts, and chilies, tossing for another minute. Transfer vegetables to another bowl.

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Heat 1 Tbsp. of oil in the same skillet over high heat. When the oil is simmering again, add part of your beef and arrange slices in a single layer in skillet. Cook until beef is browned and caramelized on the first side, about 1 minute. Toss and continue to cook until brown all over. Then repeat with the rest of your beef. Drain any excess liquid in your skillet.

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Add your cooked noodles, vegetables, and spicy stir-fry sauce in with the beef and cook on high until everything is combined.

Serve with toasted sesame seeds and cilantro (Optional)

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The final, delicious meal.

In case you haven’t followed Brooke on Instagram yet, here ‘s a sneak peak at the deliciousness she often shares.

A Caterer’s Take on Beef

A very important aspect of the beef community is found in all of the culinary wizards who prepare beef to serve to others. Cattle ranchers do all they can to raise healthy, high quality cattle that will produce high quality beef, and then, ultimately, it is in the hands of cooks and chefs to prepare a delicious meal. Meet Bruce Brown of Phoenix-based Bruce Brown Catering. The Arizona Beef Council has partnered with Bruce to serve beef creations at several events and we’ve also learned a lot from him about the world of catering. We visited him to share about the catering business and beef.

What brought you to catering and when did you start?

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Bruce and wife Susan are a dynamic catering duo.

I have actually been in the food business my entire life. I grew up on the largest commercial hog farm in New York State. When I was seven years old, my mother started a frozen custard stand which also offered bbq, pork and beef burgers which were all produced on the family farm. Before I could see over the service counter, I was offering people delicious food. When I graduated from college, my father had progressed into the catering business, doing mostly bbq chicken, ribs and pig roasts. At that time, we worked together for a few years, and then, with his constant encouragement, I branched off with my own similar business in Upstate New York.

Have you always enjoyed food and preparing food for others?

As the story goes, at the age of eight, I made my first pasta sauce and dinner for the family. I am not sure how good it REALLY was, but, they told me it was and my culinary career was begun. So I have to say with an emphatic YES, I have always enjoyed preparing food for others.

What’s the most fun type of catering event?

Without a doubt, the most fun and rewarding catering that we do each year is the Arizona National Livestock Show (ANLS). We have been honored to be the caterer for the show since 2008. As challenging as providing many different types of services, serving approximately 4500 meals in four days is a lot of work, but rewarding! The people involved in the ANLS make this so rewarding and fun.

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What cuts of beef are best suited to catering and are the biggest hits?

The cut of beef best suited really depends on the event and type of service needed. Our most popular and favorite beef item is hand carved, Arizona mesquite smoked, New York Strip Loin. We like the personal service offered through the carving station and everyone loves hand carved, medium rare beef! For an event which does not allow for a carving station, we like to offer braised short ribs with a California cabernet bbq sauce or smoked brisket with spicy horseradish sauce.

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We’ve asked you to create some wild beef pairings (beef bacon and chocolate chip cookies, beef and beer chili, mini beef Rueben bites). How does the versatility of beef benefit your recipe creations?

One of the things I enjoy about catering is creating so many different items for people to enjoy. We offer everything from an upscale plated dinner with a filet steak to a backyard bbq with burgers. One delicious long and ongoing trend is the gourmet burger…we have had a call for a mixed grind including brisket with sirloin and short rib…a TRUE steak burger! For instance, for a buffet utilizing a chafing dish, we prefer to offer a braised beef. This prevents the concern of serving an over-cooked product. On the other hand, for a nicer offering, we will serve steaks directly from the grill or as a plated dinner where we control the temperature the meat is served.

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Mini beef bacon rueben sandwiches served at Phoenix Cooks.

What are some trends you’ve seen in the catering world?

The trends in the catering world seem to be set by “The Food Network,” celebrity chefs and their shows as well as Pinterest. They say the only thing constant is change and we certainly see that in our business. One of the main trends is Farm to Table and seasonal, local products. It seems like a pretty basic and simple concept, yet it has become a great marketing tool. Small plates and miniature desserts are popular. You see many passing trends such as molecular gastronomy. Happily for us beer lovers, beer and food pairing and gastropubs certainly seem to be a trend here to stay! We have always concentrated on our core value of serving delicious, simple food, prepared properly.

What, if any, changes have you seen in catering and what do you see for the future?

We have seen a great increase in fast/casual restaurants offering catering services. You also see people looking for healthier options to serve their guests.

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What are the most common questions you receive about beef from your clients?

Mainly, our clients ask about the different preparations and which cuts of beef will work best with the menu they are offering. Many times people will want to offer a second protein option along with beef and we offer them a cut and preparation which pairs well together.

Lastly, what is your favorite cut of beef?

Tough question…I am definitely a steak-and-potatoes guy! It is a tossup between a perfectly grilled, medium rare Ribeye and thinly sliced Arizona mesquite, smoked New York Strip Loin with spicy horseradish sauce…sometimes a good grilled Tri Tip, thinly sliced. Maybe some smoked brisket with either tangy bbq sauce or my go to horseradish. I also like a good carne asada taco…sometimes a slowly smoked beef bbq sandwich. Then again…you just cannot beat a thick, juicy burger!

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Introducing the NEW “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” Website!

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“Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” is turning 25 this year! And to celebrate being one of the nation’s most iconic food brands, we’re rolling out a brand new website, showcasing the pleasure beef brings to meals, the people who raise it and the nutritional benefits – like protein – that beef provides. Even the Wall Street Journal is helping us celebrate!

We especially wanted to point out a few new features we’re thrilled about – and we hope you are, too!

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Learn the tools of the trade! Today’s cattle farmers and ranchers marry time-honored traditions with sophisticated new innovations to raise healthy cattle that produce the finest quality beef. In the Raising Beef section, you get to meet the families behind your plate who make beef more than a business. Play the Video.

Inspiration

Inspiration (x800!) The recipes section is the stop if you’re hankering for something different. Explore more than 800 beef recipes, from haute cuisine to backyard grill favorites.

Primal

A new way to master the meat case! With 126 cuts cataloged, along with all the right ways to cook each one, the new cuts section takes the guesswork out of choosing the perfect cut of beef.

Cooking Methods

Cooking lessons galore! Curious about the best way to grill a steak or braise a pot roast? Want to know how to make a delicious stir-fry or how to perfectly brown Ground Beef? The Cooking Lessons section has everything you need!

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