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Sundays are the times when my two college kids are at home and I usually come up with something to let them experience home cooked meals instead of the usual fast food fare they eat whenever at the university and their dorms.
I decided to cook Beef Salpicao, which is a favorite whenever we eat out in restaurants. Most of the time, at least one of my children will order this, if it is on the menu. Although I have a pretty good idea on how to cook Beef Salpicao, I still searched for recipes online to see if I am forgetting something.
During my search, it appears that Beef Salpicao is a Filipino dish. Even with the foreign sounding name, I thought at first that this must be Portuguese cuisine introduced during the times when the Philippines was a colony of Spain. According to the sausage wiki, salpicao is a traditional Portuguese sausage which by the way the dish is not. The Filipino Beef Salpicao is a garlicky stir-fried dish.
I couldn’t find much on the origins of Beef Salpicao (in other words, too lazy to dig further). But let us use some word play. Salpicao (Portuguese) is a beef or pork sausage flavored with garlic and paprika. Salpicado (salpicar), on the other hand, is a Spanish word that means splatter, sprinkle, dabble or pepper. Since the dish is splattered with lots of garlic, could salpicao be just a derivative of salpicado? I don’t know. You be the judge.
Beef salpicao is very delicious. It is salty and sweet with the smell and taste of garlic. It is as if the flavor was produced by too many spices although salpicao has very few ingredients that are readily available anywhere. It is a quick stir-fry dish with a very simple and uncomplicated cooking process. It is a perfect main dish but is also good as cocktail food, what we call in the Philippines as “pulutan” (appetizer taken with alcohol, like beer).
The recipe calls for beef sirloin cut into 1″ cubes but my meat shop misunderstood my instructions and cut the beef into strips. Nevertheless, it still came out OK.
For stir-frying, I normally use my Lodge cast iron wok because of the even heat distribution. It looks like this:
- 1 kilo beef sirloin cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/4 cup Worchestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp red chili pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 head head garlic peeled and minced
- salt and pepper to taste
Combine beef, salt and pepper. Marinate for about 10 minutes.
Combine Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar and red chili pepper flakes. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
In a cast-iron wok over medium heat, add butter and oil. When butter begins to melt, add garlic. Cook, stirring regularly, for about 1 minute or until garlic lightly browns.
Increase heat to high and stir garlic continously to prevent from burning. When the wok is very hot, add beef and spread across wok. Allow to sear for about 1 to 2 minutes and then turn to sear on other side.
Add Worcestershire-soy sauce mixture and continue to cook, stirring regularly, for about 3 to 5 minutes. Serve hot.