Szechuan peppercorn and orange beef

Szechuan peppercorn and orange beef

Mowie Kay

Hot and sour from orange zest, Szechuan peppercorns and chilli, with a sweet, cooling side salad, this makes for a perfectly balanced meal, taste-wise. I am usually happy to leave this as is, but you could serve it over noodles or rice if you wanted to.


Quantity Ingredient
1 large piece of onglet, split lengthways along its central vein, (a butcher will do this for you)
1 teaspoon olive oil, plus extra for rubbing
15g butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2-3 red chillies, sliced
1 teaspoon szechuan peppercorns, lightly crushed
1 orange, juiced
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon light soy sauce

For the celeriac fries

Quantity Ingredient
1/4 celeriac, julienned
1 tablespoon olive oil

For the rub

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons szechuan peppercorns
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 teaspoons dried orange or mandarin zest

To garnish

Quantity Ingredient
2 oranges, peel and membrane cut away and sliced into rounds, see recipe note
1/2 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthways, deseeded and cut on the diagonal into crescents
4 spring onions, halved lengthways and cut into slivers
a handful basil, shredded


  1. For the celeriac fries, preheat the oven to 200°C. Toss the celeriac in the olive oil and plenty of sea salt. Arrange over a baking tray and roast for 15–20 minutes, stirring regularly, until matchstick thin and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper.
  2. Meanwhile, to make the rub, toast the spices in a dry frying pan until they smell aromatic. Remove and transfer to a plate to cool, then grind in a pestle and mortar with ½ teaspoon of salt and the dried zest. Pat dry the onglet, then rub over with olive oil. Sprinkle over a tablespoon of the rub, patting it in as much as you can. Set aside for a few minutes.
  3. Heat a frying pan (preferably not non-stick) until it’s too hot to hold your hand over, and add the teaspoon of olive oil. Sear the steak on all sides, making sure you allow a good crust to develop before you turn it. Remove from the pan and leave to rest for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Turn down the heat and add the butter to the pan – it should foam immediately. Add the shallot and sauté for a few minutes to soften, then add the garlic, ginger, chillies and Szechuan peppercorns. Cook for a further minute, then pour in the orange juice, the rice wine vinegar and the soy sauce. Simmer until the mixture is syrupy, then pour in any juices from the resting steak. Cut the steak into slices. Put on a platter and spoon over the sauce.
  5. For the salad garnish, put the orange and cucumber in a bowl with any juice squeezed from the discarded orange peel. Season with salt and add the spring onions and shredded basil.
  6. Serve the celeriac fries over the beef with the salad on the side.

How to cut

  • Top and tail the citrus and sit it firmly on your chopping board. Then cut from top to bottom, following the contour of the fruit, making sure you are cutting away the pith and outer membrane as you go. When you have cut all the way around, trim off any other bits of white pith you can see. You can then slice or dice the fruit as it is, flicking out pips as you go.
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