Rich with earthy cumin and heated with Sichuan peppercorns, this dish is inspired by the cooking of Xiʻa Province, China. You can adjust the heat to your liking, but it should cause a little sweating for the full-flavor experience. If you can't find Sichuan peppercorns (most Asian grocery stores should stock them, which are readily available online), you can substitute them with black peppercorns. Serve with steamed rice or toss with freshly cooked Asian wheat noodles.
RECIPE BY MARK COCKCROFT
- 1 pack of Sirloin steak (or Steak Strips), silverskin removed and cut into 1-1/2" x 1/2" strips
- 1 Tbsp whole cumin seeds
- 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns or whole black peppercorns
- 1/4 - 1 tsp chile flakes
- 4 Tbsp soy sauce, divided
- 1/4 cup Chinese cooking wine or dry sherry
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 large leek, white and pale green parts only, washed and cut into 1/4" half moons
- 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and cut into 1" lengths with the last few inches sliced thinly
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 1/4 cup venison bone broth or low sodium broth (beef or chicken)
- 3 Tbsp neutral oil, divided
Place a small skillet over medium-high heat and add the cumin seeds and peppercorns. Dry toast them until fragrant and a few wisps of smoke appear - donʻt let them burn! Remove from heat and place in a mortar and pestle and let cool. Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
When cool, lightly crush seeds and corns and add to medium-sized bowl along with the chile flakes, sliced venison, and 1 Tbsp soy sauce. Mix well and set aside to briefly marinate.
In a small bowl, mix together broth, wine, sesame oil, sugar, cornstarch, and remaining 3 Tbsp soy sauce and set aside.
Place a wok or large heavy skillet over high heat. When the pan is very hot add 2 Tbsp of the oil and swirl to coat the sides or surface of the pan. (It might get a little smoky, turn on ventilation fan or open some windows)
Add the ginger and garlic. Cook, stirring for 30 seconds and then add the leeks and scallions. Cook until wilted and just beginning to brown around the edges. Remove to a small bowl.
Add remaining Tbsp of oil and, when hot, add the marinated venison. Stir fry, breaking up the meat, until beginning to brown then add back the leeks and scallions.
Give the broth mixture a stir to dissolve cornstarch and add to the pan. Stir fry, mixing all the ingredients well until the sauce has reduced and is slightly thickened.
Stir in the thinly sliced scallion greens and remove to a serving platter. Enjoy!