Stir-Fried Beef with Garlic Sauce


For this easy stir-fried beef with garlic sauce, cubes of top sirloin are gently stir-fried and then finished in a buttery, garlic cream sauce. Served over rice or mashed potatoes, it’s a true comfort meal that comes together in just over an hour.

A cast-iron skillet filled with stir-fried beef with garlic sauce and a blue and white oven mitt on the side.

Adapted from Jessica Formicola | Beef It Up! | Storey Publishing, 2022

You may be familiar with 40-clove chicken, a version of a traditional French dish that uses amazing caramelized garlic in a comforting cream sauce. I figured, “Why not try it with beef?”

Tender top sirloin and fresh herbs work beautifully with the garlic, which is gently stir-fried to enhance the flavor without being overpowering. The traditional accompaniment is mashed potatoes, but pasta or rice are also excellent choices, as is a slice of crusty bread to sop up every bit of the sauce.–Jessica Formicola

Stir-Fried Beef with Garlic Sauce FAQs

What is the best cut of beef for stir fry?

This recipe calls for top sirloin because it doesn’t require much tenderizing. You can also use chuck or strip steak, but you’ll have to do some tenderizing first (see below). Save anything with lots of fat and marbling for the grill.

How do I tenderize steak strips for this recipe?

Depending on the cut you go with, you might want to tenderize it a bit before cooking. Salting your beef is a good start so salt the entire piece before slicing it—but make sure to let it sit for at least 40 minutes before cooking. The other way to ensure that you have tender beef for your stir fry is by cutting it against the grain. Hold your knife at a 45-degree angle and slice thin strips to make the muscle fibers shorter, making the beef less chewy.

Do I really need to use 40 cloves of garlic?

We think so. We always measure garlic with our hearts. Don’t be afraid – the low simmer in butter, broth, and herbs will take the spicy bite out of the garlic and make it sweetly herby, soft, and creamy. You’ll want a clove with each bite of beef. You’ll be spreading that sensational soft garlic onto bread. You’ll be smooshing it into your mashed potatoes or rice. Promise.

Stir-Fried Beef with Garlic Sauce

A cast-iron skillet filled with stir-fried beef with garlic sauce and a blue and white oven mitt on the side.

Tender pieces of stir-fried beef combine with an irresistibly creamy garlic sauce in this easy comfort meal that’s on the table in just over an hour.

Jessica Formicola

Prep 25 mins

Cook 40 mins

Total 1 hr 5 mins

  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil.

  • Sprinkle the beef with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add the beef to the hot skillet, browning it evenly, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer it to a paper towel–lined plate. Reduce the heat to medium.

  • Carefully wipe any residual liquid from the skillet. Add the butter and garlic cloves, and sauté until browned and fragrant, 4 to 6 minutes. Splash in 2 cups of the broth, the thyme, and rosemary. Simmer over low heat for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and cream until a paste forms. Pour in the remaining 1/2 cup broth, whisking until smooth.

  • Return the beef to the skillet with the garlic and toss until heated through. Remove the skillet from the heat, pour the cream sauce into the hot skillet, and stir to combine. Let the sauce thicken, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  • Serve over cooked rice, potatoes, or pasta.

Serving: 1portionCalories: 405kcal (20%)Carbohydrates: 15g (5%)Protein: 43g (86%)Fat: 19g (29%)Saturated Fat: 8g (50%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 124mg (41%)Sodium: 148mg (6%)Potassium: 874mg (25%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 337IU (7%)Vitamin C: 11mg (13%)Calcium: 109mg (11%)Iron: 4mg (22%)

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Originally published June 10, 2022

Recipe © 2022 Jessica Formicola. Photo © 2022 Dominic Perry Photography. All rights reserved. All materials used with permission.

#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


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