The Cottage Smallholder

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Skirt of beef recipe stir fried with baby vegetables and red wine


Photo: beef and baby veg stir fry

Photo: beef and baby veg stir fry

The best thing about growing your own vegetables is that with a bit of careful planning you will usually have a range of ultra fresh vegetables to hand.  I love baby vegetables in a stir fry but the ones in tempting packs in the supermarket are so often tasteless and disappointing. If you grow your own baby veg they will be packed with flavour. I harvested selection of baby veg that were crying out for a stir fry and teamed them with finely sliced skirt of beef to make a tasty dish that was whipped together in minutes.

In fact a stir fry packed with scrummy vegetables can disguise how little meat there is in a dish. Which is great if you are on a budget. Skirt of beef is a superb cut as it has a wonderful texture and flavour. When I go into the centre of Newmarket I usually nip into the butchers and buy a slab of skirt. We have also eaten skirt steaks which were delicious and much cheaper than rump or sirloin. Skirt of beef  freezes well too.

I’ve started to use no oil or extra fat in my stir fries. This seems to work very well and makes this a recipe that is very low in fat.

The secret of a good stir fry lies in the preparation and the timing. As I slice the vegetables and herbs I lay them out in a row across the top of the board – tougher to tender. This is the order that they will go into the wok after I have softened the garlic. If you want to toss them all in together slice the tougher vegetables much finer.

Skirt of beef stir fry with baby vegetables and red wine (feeds 2 -3)


Noodles for two (I always make noodles for three as Danny has a huge appetite)
175g of finely sliced skirt of beef
1 heaped teaspoon of corn flour
6 tablespoons of red wine (white wine, cider or a good stock would be fine too)
1 chubby clove of finely chopped garlic (I used three mini heads of fresh garlic that was growing in the wrong place in the kitchen garden)
A handful od baby Broad beans (if they are young you can eat them whole)
2 baby turnips sliced including the leaves
Baby sugar peas, chives and parsley to garnish. When our baby peas are a bit bigger I will add them for the last minute of cooking time
125g of asparagus (I found some English asparagus on the Tesco CFC. In two years time we will be eating our own!) Slice the tender part of the stalks and set aside the tender tips.
Cook the noodles, adding vegetable stock powder to the water and following the manufacturer’s instructions. Drain and retain 3 tablespoons of the noodle water to start your stir fry. Set the noodles aside in a warm place. (I return them to their saucepan and put a lid on).
Heat the 3 tablespoons noodle water in the wok and add the finely chopped garlic. Let this soften before adding the rest of the vegetables in order of toughness. Turnips, baby broad beans, asparagus stalks and the turnip tops for one minute followed by the asparagus tips for a further minute. Remove the vegetables immediately with a slotted spoon and add to the noodles. 
Add the red wine to the wok and when it starts to bubble fiercely add the beef and stir until the sauce thickens. Toss the noodles and baby veg into the meat, stir and sprinkle with the herbs and baby peas serve on warm plates.

  Leave a reply


  1. Rice Palette

    I haven’t had the chance to grow my own vegetables, and I always imagined how much it can be a money-saver! I’m hopeful for a garden sometime in the near future :0)

    Thanks for sharing the recipe, it looks great!

  2. Cookie Girl

    Scrummety yum ! That sounds gorgeous ! I love crunchy veg in a stir fry. I have baby salad leaves now and I can’t wait to try them. There’s nothing better than growing your own, it’s well worth the effort I think.

  3. Paula

    Here in the states, skirt steak used to be a fairly economical cut, but since the advent of fajita eating, the price has gone up. They sure marinate well, and are incredibly good grilled over real charcoal. Mmm!

    I haven’t gotten to the point in my gardening where I can feel good about sacrificing babies. In fact, my harvests are in fits and starts, so I’m really pretty new at this. Eventually I might be as good are you are!

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