Beef, Onion & Bell Pepper In Black Bean-Tomato Sauce
Bell peppers and tomatoes are not considered wine-friendly ingredients, but as a combination they become the standard bearer for the oft misused phrase, two negatives can become a positive. This is all chemistry folks and fermented black beans, garlic, onions and of course the beef, bring these two difficult ingredients together into a wine friendly dish that melds nicely with a moderately tannic, fruity Merlot.
1 pound top sirloin steak
2 tsps tamari or 1 1/2 tsps soy sauce
2 tsps fish sauce
2 tsps toasted sesame oil
1 large yellow onion
2 red bell peppers or combination of red and green
2 large Roma tomatoes, about 10-12 ounces
1 Tlbs vegetable oil, or as needed
3 Tlbs prepared black bean garlic sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
Pinch of sugar as needed (optional)
Chinese oyster sauce (optional but good)
Cilantro sprigs (optional garnish)
Here’s What To Do:
Trim excess fat and silver skin from the meat before cutting across the grain into 1- by 1/2- by 1/4-inch slices. In a small bowl, combine meat with tamari, 1 teaspoon of the fish sauce and toasted sesame oil. Set aside to marinate least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut onions, bell peppers and tomatoes into bite-size pieces, keeping vegetables separated.
Turn your exhaust fan to high, then place a large nonstick wok or skillet over high or medium-high heat. Add oil, just enough to coat the pan. Add the black bean garlic sauce, stirring constantly until aromatic, then add garlic; cook another 10 seconds before adding the onions. Stir-fry the onions for about a minute before adding the bell peppers and red wine. Stir or toss frequently until wine has almost completely cooked away before adding tomatoes, chicken broth and remaining teaspoon fish sauce. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally until tomatoes start to break down but before peppers are soft; add beef and marinade and cook until meat is just done.
If desired, remove vegetables and meat to a warm serving bowl, turn up heat and reduce sauce to desired thickness. Taste and adjust seasoning; add a pinch of sugar and/or oyster sauce to balance flavors if needed. Pour sauce over the meat and vegetables; serve immediately, garnished with cilantro, if desired. Alternatively, add meat and vegetables back into the reduced sauce to rewarm; taste again and adjust seasoning.
Serve with steamed white or brown rice.
What Goes With What Wines Selections
Donati Family Vineyard Paicines Claret ’05 Central Coast (Merlot)
This delicious and powerful red is a blend of 43% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Syrah, 4% Cabernet Franc, 3% Malbec and 2% Petite Verdot – The wine is soft, juicy and showing sweet fruits and spicy oak, very nice. R 90 $14.99
Simi Winery Merlot ’05 Sonoma County (Merlot)
Merlot with a 4% touch of Malbec and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. Sweet and well-defined cherry-like fruit is the main drift of this nicely filled wine and oak brings a slight lift in richness throughout. R88 $20.00