How Does One Cook Beef Quickly AND Tenderly?

I have many times tried, and many times failed to make a nice beef curry or beef stir fry. Nice in flavour, but the meat always turns out tough as old boots, and I’ve never worked out why. I may be beginning to learn. I’ve lost count the number of times I have had the best intentions to make a lovely, healthy beef dinner and the poor old kids end up chewing and chewing and chewing. So I have started my training in the art of cooking beef strips to tender perfection. After a little research I decided to try the separate meat and vegetable cooking, ie cooking one first and then the other and combining them in the end. This makes sense, as beef likes to be fried quickly (or grilled, barbecued) and not handled or flipped around too much.

Whenever I have made beef dishes in the past I follow the same pattern, soften onions, add flavour, add the meat and vegetables. I suppose all these times the meat is cooking slower than it should because the pan is full of other stuff that is stealing the cooking heat. So yesterday I tried, and yesterday I succeeded in cooking a tender beef stir fry that all the kids ate without any need for bribery of the dessert kind. I used a cheap cut of beef, having been burned by buying good quality cuts and then cooking them so badly they may as well have been the leather, I wanted to experiment with I think it was round beef steaks in the end, very little fat. Cut into nice strips not too thin not too thick. As I poured the marinated meat into the hot pan it was a little bit crowded, not all the meat was touching the hottest part of the wok, so I think next time I will separate it even further and cook the meat in 2 batches. It was incredible the difference in just this cooking method made to the meal. The meat while not melt in the mouth was very passable and the marinade made a lovely touch too as each piece of beef was a little party all on its own. So next time I will dare to get the fancier cuts of meat like rump or eye fillet, and see just how soft and tender I can produce it.

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