Tender Beef with Balsamic Glaze

This Tender Beef with Balsamic Glaze recipe brings the essence of Chinese cooking techniques into your kitchen, offering a quick yet sophisticated dish. The secret lies in the use of baking soda for tenderizing the beef, ensuring each slice is succulent and full of flavor. The balsamic glaze, with its rich and tangy profile, perfectly complements the beef, creating a dish that’s both visually appealing and deliciously satisfying.

Whether you’re looking to impress guests or simply elevate your weeknight dinner routine, this recipe promises a culinary experience that’s both accessible and exotic. The combination of tender beef, aromatic vegetables, and the bold balsamic reduction invites you to explore the depths of flavor in every bite. It’s a testament to the beauty of blending simple ingredients with thoughtful preparation to achieve a dish that’s as nourishing as it is enticing.

Full Recipe:


  • 500g (1 pound) Beef
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1/2 Red bell pepper
  • 1/2 Green bell pepper
  • For the Sauce:
    • 1 big clove garlic (or 2 small cloves)
    • 1 tsp Salt
    • 1 tsp Sugar
    • 1/2 tsp Black pepper
    • 1/4 tsp Red pepper flakes
    • 1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
    • 2 tbsp Olive oil
    • 1 tbsp Chili sauce


  1. Preparing the Beef: Begin with 500g of beef. Transfer to a bowl, add 1 tsp of baking soda, and rub thoroughly. Let marinate for 15 minutes.
  2. Preparing the Sauce: Mix garlic, salt, sugar, black pepper, red pepper flakes, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and chili sauce in a separate bowl.
  3. Cooking the Beef: Rinse the beef after marination, dry, and sear in a pan with olive oil for 2 minutes per side.
  4. Adding Vegetables: Sauté onion until translucent, then add bell peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Combining Everything: Return beef to the pan, add the sauce, mix well, and simmer for 8-10 minutes.

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cooking Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 35 minutes

Kcal: 300 kcal | Servings: 4 servings

Cultural Background:

This recipe is inspired by traditional Chinese cooking techniques, which often involve tenderizing meat to enhance its texture and flavor. The use of baking soda as a tenderizer is a well-known trick in many Asian cuisines, allowing even the toughest cuts of beef to become succulent and enjoyable. The balsamic glaze, while not traditionally Chinese, adds a Western twist, creating a fusion dish that marries the best of both worlds.

Why This Recipe Works:

  • Baking Soda: Acting as a meat tenderizer, baking soda breaks down the proteins in the beef, resulting in a tender texture after cooking.
  • Balsamic Vinegar: Its acidity and sweetness add depth to the dish, creating a glaze that enhances the beef’s natural flavors.
  • Quick Cooking Time: This recipe is perfect for busy weeknights, offering a gourmet experience in under an hour.

Ingredient Insights:

  • Beef: While the recipe suggests using any cut, cuts like flank, skirt, or chuck are particularly well-suited for this method as they tenderize beautifully and are cost-effective.
  • Balsamic Vinegar: Opt for a good quality balsamic vinegar as it’s the centerpiece of the sauce. Aged balsamic vinegar will contribute a richer, more complex flavor.
  • Chili Sauce: This can be adjusted according to taste. For a milder flavor, reduce the quantity or choose a less spicy sauce.

Cooking Tips:

  • Marinating Time: For even more tender beef, you can extend the marinating time to up to an hour if your schedule allows.
  • Searing the Beef: Ensure the pan is hot before adding the beef to achieve a good sear, which locks in flavors and adds a delightful texture to the dish.
  • Vegetable Variations: Feel free to add other vegetables like sliced mushrooms, zucchini, or snap peas during the vegetable sautéing step for added nutrition and color.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Accompaniments: Serve this tender beef with a side of steamed jasmine rice, quinoa, or noodles to soak up the delicious sauce. A side of steamed or stir-fried greens complements the dish well.
  • Garnish: A sprinkle of sesame seeds and a few fresh basil or cilantro leaves can add a pop of color and freshness just before serving.

Wine Pairing:

A medium-bodied red wine, such as Merlot or a lighter Pinot Noir, pairs wonderfully with the rich flavors of the balsamic glaze and the savory beef. The wine’s fruity notes and acidity will complement the dish’s depth of flavor.

Make-Ahead and Storage:

  • Make-Ahead: The beef can be marinated and the sauce prepared a day in advance, stored separately in the refrigerator.
  • Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave, adding a little water or broth if the sauce has thickened too much.


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