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17th May, 2022

Recipes From My Travels - Paul's honey and vodka marinated pepper beef stir-fry

Bromsgrove Editorial 11th Dec, 2021

CHEF and blogger Paul James writes for our paper.

Beef and vodka are not often considered complementary, but pan-searing them together seems to extract, the best qualities of both products.

The vodka contributes acid, a standard marinade component that Injects flavour and also tenderises.

I was fortunate enough to have a couple of bottles sent to me by my good friends who own Nero Premium Vodka.

As you may know I’m teetotal so I wanted to experiment burning off the alcohol to some of my future dishes but still leaving the citrus and vanilla flavours that Nero Premium Vodka leaves on the palate.

This dish by the way did have an alcohol content left in (fortunately my son was helping to cook and obviously he gave me the verdict on how good the final dish was)

What I love most about developing and writing recipes is that food always gives you that blank canvas to experiment with – ingredients or produce you would never think of putting together let alone imagine them complementing each other.

Well this dish marries perfectly together – the heat of the black pepper, calmed down with the sweetness of the honey then the smoothness of the sauce with the aromatics that only a good quality vodka can like this can achieve.

Visit for more on Paul’s recipes and blog.


Honey and vodka marinated peppered beef stir-fry


4 quick fry steak slices

5tbsps of honey

2tbsps of oyster sauce

1tsp of soy sauce

100ml of vodka (Nero premium vodka)

1 white onion finely sliced

1 clove of garlic crushed with the skin left on.

1 red pepper chopped

1tbsp of black pepper.

25ml of boiling water to dissolve the honey.


1. In a container add the honey, oyster sauce and soy sauce. Pour in the boiling water and stir to dissolve. Leave to cool right down, then add the slices of steak.

2. Now add good quality vodka (such as Nero premium vodka) and the crushed garlic and cover with the lid or foil.

3. Place in the fridge overnight preferably or at least for a couple of hours.

4. In a deep sided frying pan or wok add a tbsp of oil.

5. After removing the steaks from the fridge, drain the liquid into a jug, then Slice the steaks into strips and quickly fry on a hot heat. (do these in batches otherwise if you overcrowd the pan the steak will just boil.)

6. Once fried add the beef into the marinade that you have put to one side in the jug.

7. In the same pan, stir fry the onions and peppers until soft.

8. Then add the steak and marinade back into the pan or wok, bring back up to the boil, then reduce until the sauce has thickened (if you want to add more honey or pepper that’s fine, but always taste)

9. Serve straight away with a side of boiled rice or in my case some sautéed kale.


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