Sweet and Sour Beef

Last weekend I spent a huge amount on a cookbook to add to my collection. That amount? $0.50. Yes, 50 cents. It’s at this point that I say that the cookbook isn’t exactly new, and I got it from a secondhand shop. I’ve just looked up the ISBN and discovered that the publication date was 1990 (as surprisingly the date isn’t printed in the book). Retro is an understatement.

This is the point where I tell you the name of the book. It’s ‘Best Recipes from The Weekly’ – that being The Australian Women’s Weekly. Quite frankly, in my opinion, recipes from The Australian Women’s Weekly are some of the best that you will find. That meant that I was quite pleased to make this purchase for such a small amount of cash!

Anyway, the recipe in the book is called ‘Beef with Peppers and Pineapple’, but that is a bit long winded I think. So I re-named it. But I will admit that is about the only change that I have made.

It’s just fantastic.

Ingredients – serves 4:

  • 500g/1lb beef, either thin strips of steak or good diced beef (not casserole beef)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour
  • 2 tbsp water
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 can (450g/16oz) pineapple pieces (preferably in pineapple juice rather than syrup)
  • 1 green capsicum (bell pepper)
  • 1 red capsicum (bell pepper)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed (or a good sprinkling of granulated garlic)
  • 1cm/half inch piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 spring onions (green onions)


  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • 1/4 cup water


  • Place the beef in a medium bowl with the soy sauce, sugar, cornflour and water. Mix and leave to marinade for 30 minutes.
  • Cut the capsicums (bell peppers) into squares, cut the spring onions into 4cm/1.5in lengths (white and green sections), and drain the can of pineapple pieces.
  • Heat a little oil in a deep non-stick frying pan (or wok), and then add the pineapple pieces and chopped capsicums.

  • Cook for 2 minutes on a med/high heat, then remove to a plate.
  • Heat a little more oil in the pan, then add the garlic and the finely chopped ginger and cook until fragrant.
  • Add the marinaded beef to the pan, stir and cook on a high heat for about 5 minutes, or until the beef is browned all over. Remove from the pan.
  • Combine all the sauce ingredients in the pan and bring to the boil.
  • When the sauce boils it will thicken – at this point add the beef, pineapple, capsicums and also the spring onions to the pan.
  • Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring, until all the ingredients are coated in the sauce and the spring onions have started to wilt.
  • Serve with plain white rice.
  • Enjoy!

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