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This is a good recipe for when young asparagus and fresh fava beans are in the stores. If fava beans are not available, use defrosted edamame or green peas. You do not need a vegetable side dish with this. Serve with rice or noodles. Try this dish with boneless chicken breasts too.

Servings: 4

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound beef sirloin steak or tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes

Salt and freshly ground pepper

12 ounces asparagus, tough ends removed, cut into 2-inch lengths

8 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, sliced

1 red onion, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

2 cups beef or chicken stock

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 2 teaspoons water

1 pound fava beans, (see note below)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced

2 tablespoons chopped chives

Method

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add beef and sear, turning, for about 4 minutes or until browned on all sides and rare in centre. Remove.

Add asparagus, shiitakes and red onion to skillet. Stir-fry vegetables for about 2 minutes or until slightly browned. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.

Add stock and soy sauce and boil for 2 minutes or until asparagus are tender-crisp. Stir in cornstarch mixture and cook until sauce is thickened.

Return beef to skillet along with fava beans and simmer together for a few minutes or until beans are warm and beef is medium rare. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and chives.

Note: To prepare fava beans, peel off the outer pod. The beans nestled inside still have a tough skin. Bring a pot of water to boil, add favas and bring back to boil. Drain and rinse with cold water. The tough skins will slip off revealing a vibrant green bean that needs hardly any cooking.

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