A while back, I tried this new recipe. Because I generally don’t care for meat in a crockpot (with some exceptions) I didn’t expect good things from it. Shows what I know. After I tasted it, the best thing I could do was snap a quick phone picture of it to post to Facebook, but at the time I knew that I’d be making this recipe again. In fact, it is destined to become a staple in our house. Larry is suspicious of all new recipes and food he thinks might be “different”, so I was surprised and pleased when he gave this recipe a try, and even more surprised and pleased when he gave it a big thumbs up–or, in my brother’s parlance, gave it “Four Larries”.
So now I’m back to tell you how I made it even better, which wasn’t rocket science but I thought it made quite a difference in the overall finished product.
The recipe as I found it is here. I made it as written the first time, and it was delicious but the sauce was, I thought, much too thin. So this time, I actually doubled the cornstarch, and modified the method a bit.
Beef and Broccoli
1 lb. stewing-type beef (I recommend arm roast), sliced thinly
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 cup beef broth (I used reconstituted Orrington Farms brand)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
4 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups frozen broccoli florets
White rice for serving, plus red pepper flakes if desired
Combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and beef broth in the insert of the crockpot. Turn to low. Add the sliced, raw beef and chopped garlic. Put the lid on, and cook on low for 4 hours.
At the end of 4 hours, remove about a half cup of the sauce from the crockpot and place it in a bowl. With a whisk, combine this liquid with the cornstarch to make a slurry. With tongs, remove the beef from the crockpot and set aside. Return the slurry to the liquid in the pot, and combine well. Return the beef to the pot, replace the lid, and cook for an additional 30 minutes or so to thicken. Add the frozen broccoli and combine well. Replace the lid and let it cook on low for 10 minutes or so–the broccoli will be perfectly done at the end of this time. Serve it over the white rice with red pepper flakes if desired.
Now, here’s something I figured out as I was cleaning up after the meal–this would be perfect to make in the summer, when you don’t want to heat up the stove. The stove doesn’t make an appearance in this meal. The crockpot and the rice cooker sat side by side on the counter, handling my dinner with very little help from me. I cut up the meat the night before and refrigerated it in a ziploc bag, and just dumped it in. Not much in the way of preparation!
Next time I make this, I’m going to add carrots. Even though Larry always says that just when I make something he likes, I start to fool with it too much, he did give his okay to add carrots. Of course, it won’t actually be beef and broccoli any more, but it will be delicious. And colorful. I think red peppers and onions would also be delicious, but in my house the carrots will be enough of a departure.