I want to talk to you about something very near and dear to my heart: Chinese buffet. I don’t know about ya’ll, but I’m a sucker for Chinese food. There’s something about an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet that really makes me crave a food-induced coma. Beef and broccoli is definitely one of my go-tos. So what is the only thing better than having a steaming hot plate of beef and broccoli? How about having it ready for you when you get home?! Suit up, friends, we’re going on a journey!
First off, shout out to Buzzfeed (https://www.buzzfeed.com/iristian/this-slow-cooker-beef-and-broccoli-is-the-perfect-dinner-for?utm_term=.ouYj2YAeL#.evWE7jpb6) for the inspiration for this recipe. I made a couple of tweaks, but it’s pretty similar.
Step one: get your beef. This is a great time to break out the round steak. “A round steak is a beef steak from the “round”, or the rear leg of the cow.” (thanks Wiki) This cut works great because it is probably one of the least expensive of the steaks.
Let it be known that this cut it’s not usually accused of being a tender and flavorful beauty. Think about it: when’s the last time you saw a round steak listed on the menu at a steak house? (Hint: you haven’t) I wouldn’t buy one and put it on the grill in hopes of a magical steak dinner experience. A memorable one maybe. If you like memories of sadness. Perhaps a life-changing one: if the change is that you never do that again…. In other words, you WILL be disappointed. Maybe even cry…
However, if you want a versatile cut that you can slice, dice, or put in a hot ceramic pot for hours while you’re busy at work, this is the steak for you! Cooking it low and slow really helps break it down and it becomes so much more tender. You can use a sirloin steak, flank steak, or cut up a roast if you so choose. But so help me if you use a rib-eye in a crock pot dish, we will have words…
This is the steak that dad built. He raised this steer, feeding it a well-balanced diet of corn, mineral, distillers grains and some forage. Let’s just take a moment to appreciate the quality work Papa Cypher has put into this marvelous beauty. Well done Papa Cypher, well done.
Slice the beef into ~1/4 inch strips anywhere from 1-4 inches long. I personally like mine more bite sized. All the better to shove it in my face with, my dear.
Chop your garlic. If you see this recipe and think “I might add more garlic than that,” we will likely be friends. I understand you.
In your slow cooker, combine soy sauce, beef broth, brown sugar, chopped garlic, grated ginger, honey and sesame oil. If you have reservations about buying specialty oil, no pressure, but this will suck without it. I’m just kidding. But I will say that this brings a lot to the table in terms of flavor and if you have any interest in making other Asian inspired dishes, you will want this on your holster! (PS: you can use the leftover beef broth in other crockpot recipes or swap it in lieu of water when making rice. How neat is that!?).
Ginger is my own addition to this recipe. I love it. It gives a bright flavor and reminds me of better days. Almost every Asian dish I make has some amount of ginger in it. If I find a recipe that includes this ingredient, I assume I’m going to love it. And thanks to Rachael Ray (hey gurl), I found out how to always have it on hand! Ginger and I have a beautiful relationship…
Mix these together in the crock pot and toss in the beef, stirring to coat. Keep in mind, this is a really flexible dish and you can have fun with it. You can add onion, oyster sauce, more honey, rice vinegar, Cheetos…. Whatever revs your engine.
Put that puppy on low and go to work! Save kittens! Manage accounts! Swing a hammer! Do not think about how hungry you are at 4:00pm!
You smell that? You walk in the door after a long day at work and it’s like you got kicked in the face with something so awesome you’re not even mad!
Now’s the time to make your corn starch slurry. This is what’s going to thicken up your sauce so that it’s reminiscent of the glorious goo they have on most dishes at the buffet line. Stir it into the beef mixture and add your broccoli, stirring to coat. Switch your cooker to high and let it hang out for another 30 minutes so that it has time to thicken. Ample time to get your carb vehicle ready.
Marital Compromise Tip #386: I don’t like rice. It’s bland and takes up room in my stomach that could have been occupied by something much more satisfying. And not to be that person, but it’s almost 100% calories and nasty and 0% nutritional and tasty. I do, however, like quinoa. Nutty, delicious quinoa. Conversely, Jake does not like quinoa. Guess what he likes… he likes rice… Apart from this and being a Husker’s fan, he has few flaws. We are not picky eaters, but this is probably the only scenario in which I will make some of each. This is my peace offering in the Geis household.
Marital Compromise Tip #387: If you are exceptionally Midwestern, you can just put this on a potato! You can put anything on a potato!
After 30 minutes, the goods should be thickened up and ready to eat!! FINALLY!
Spoon the beef and broccoli over your carb of choice or just eat it as is! If you want it to look pretty, sprinkle it with some sesame seeds and some chopped green onion.
2 lbs round or sirloin steak or boneless beef chuck roast, sliced thin
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
4-8 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp grated ginger
4 Tbsp. cornstarch
4 Tbsp. water
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
1 tsp sesame seeds, optional
1 green onion, sliced, optional
White or brown rice, cooked
OR quinoa, cooked
In the crockpot, whisk together beef broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic.
Place slices of beef in the liquid and toss to coat. Cover with lid and cook on low heat for 4-8 hours.
After 4-8 hours, whisk together cornstarch and water in small bowl. Pour into crock pot and stir to mix well. Add the broccoli and gently stir to combine. Cover with lid and turn slow cooker to high. Cook 30 minutes to cook broccoli and thicken sauce.
Serve over warm white rice or quinoa and garnish with sesame seeds and green onion. Enjoy!