M. Andrew Gordon

Thai Beef with Green Beans and Shitake Mushrooms

In Beef, Main Dish on May 20, 2010 at 8:27 pm

A thing of beauty

There are times I make a meal for myself and recognize the absurdity of an entire dish and pause, thinking that perhaps it is just too ridiculous to write about.  For instance, sometime this winter I was at a dinner party with some friends and my brother had brought some smoked trout as an appetizer.  Come the end of the night, there is a little bit left and it was going to get thrown out.  I couldn’t very well let that happen, so I bagged it up and took it home, putting it in the refrigerator and going to bed, forgetting all about the trout.  Two days later, I was looking to make breakfast when I suddenly remembered the smoked trout.  I quickly chopped a potato and roasted it; cooked up some onion; and combined it all with the trout in an omelet.  Genius.  It was delicious.  Something I am putting in my back pocket for a brunch in the future.  But it was the very way in which the dish came together that had me thinking it was absurd.  Who has smoked trout just sitting around?

So it was, the other night I had some left over filet mignon (absurd, right?) that I wanted to make into dinner.  I also had some green beans and shitake mushrooms in the refrigerator.  Dinner came together so quickly, with so little thought, and tasted so damn delicious, that I was left with little choice but to write about it.  Everything about it was good – a nice ratio of vegetable to meat, a dose of heat and spice, and a sweet and sour glaze from the fish sauce and honey.   Since I still think it is absurd that anyone would have leftover filet mignon waiting around, I wrote this to reflect using raw beef.  This would also be good over rice.

Maybe some time I’ll make that smoked trout omelet again and write the recipe for it…

And then the idea hits me: A regular column, if you will, on Just Add Bacon: Absurd Leftovers!  I have been thinking about shaking things up here for a while, so it fits right in with my current thinking.  And, I’ve made no attempt to hide my unabashed love for using leftover ingredients in a second or third dish, as evidenced by my February post on leftovers.  So there it is, an announcement of a new, regular feature here.  The Absurd Leftover recipe which will seek to reposition some leftover into an entirely new meal.  As a matter of fact, I believe there is one waiting in the wings already.

Thai Beef with Green Beans and Shitake Mushrooms

  • 4 ounces filet mignon or other tender cut of beef
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1 small chile pepper, sliced thin
  • Half small red onion, sliced thin
  • ½ pound green beans, cut into one-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2-3 dashes, hot sauce
  • ¼ pound baby shitake mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  1. Light grill to medium-hot heat.  Season beef with salt and pepper.  Cook until medium-rare or to taste.  Let cool slightly and slice thin.
  2. In large skillet, heat sesame oil to over medium-high heat.  Add garlic, chile pepper, and red onion.  Cook, stirring constantly, for one minute.  Add beans and stir into oil.
  3. Combine fish sauce, rice vinegar, honey, and hot sauce.  Add to beans and shake pan to distribute sauce.  Add mushrooms and cover, shaking pan frequently.  Cook for five minutes.
  4. Add beef and toss to combine.  Add sesame seeds, season with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.
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