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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Crock Pot Beef and Broccoli

Well, in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac, there was work to be done.  This past weekend, my husband and I were down in Cocodrie, South Louisiana helping my parents repair some of the damages to "our" beloved fishing camp.  Nothing major, thank God, but enough roof, railing, and other small repairs that my mom called us for back-up.  What job did she give me?  Well, mainly.... I was put in charge of figuring out a weekend menu, picking up groceries, and cooking so that everyone else could be up on the roof and doing hurricane clean-up out in the heat and humidity.  Suits me fine!  

On our first night there, for everyone just driving in, I made the Creamy Work Week Chicken Enchiladas that everyone loves.  By the time my parents got there, the enchiladas were coming out of the oven, the  Black Bean and Corn Salsa was ready, Mexican rice cooked, guacamole ready, cold Dos Equis appropriately outfitted with a lime, and some Stevie Ray Vaughn turned up loud.  (Now THAT is the way to start off a work weekend!)  For the second day, I wasn't sure how much of my help would actually be needed out in that humid inferno, so I planned a crock pot meal that I could put on early, freeing me up for other stuff.  This Crock Pot Beef and Broccoli was a great choice, and would be perfect for throwing together in the mornings before you leave for work.  Actually, I'm not sure how you could really mess it up, as the crock pot does all the work for you.  Add, change, or delete the vegetables and the amount of heat you add in there as to the preference of your family.  My mom said they enjoy being the guinea pigs for recipes.  Yes - it was a work weekend, but isn't it good to come together and work on something that brings our families so much joy?

Click for Printable Recipe   
                or WATCH me make this dish on the Video recipe for Crock Pot Beef and Broccoli
Ingredients:
  • 1.5 - 1.75 pound "stir fry" beef (little strips) seasoned with salt and pepper. 
  • Sauce:  
    • 1 cup beef broth
    • 1/2 cup soy sauce
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
    • 2 tsp sesame oil
    • 1 tsp Sriracha hot chili sauce
    • 2-3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
    • 2-3 Tbsp fresh ginger minced
    • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • Bag of fresh broccoli florets 
  • Additional veggies I added:
    • A handful of baby carrots
    • A can of water chestnuts, drained
    • Half of an onion, cut into thin strips
    • Red and yellow pepper strips


Step by Step:
Season the beef strips with salt and pepper and add to the crock pot.
In retrospect, if you are using this thin sirloin, consider cutting it a little larger than you want the pieces to be at the end.  The sirloin tends to shred more easily than the beef labeled "stir fry beef," which is likely to be skirt or flank steak.  The "stir fry beef" holds together a little better.  That said, my kids said they didn't care if it shredded in the end - because it was so tender and flavorful. 
Today, there was no "stir fry" beef, so I went with the thin cut Sirloin Steak, which I cut into strips.

kosher salt

black pepper
Mix the sauce ingredients: 
1 cup beef broth

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tsp sesame oil

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar

2 - 3 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
 Pour the sauce over beef. Mix the sauce with the beef so that each strip of meat is coated.
Pour sauce over beef.

Stir to ensure all the beef is coated and separate.

Oops... forgot the Sriracha!
1 tsp Sriracha hot chili sauce
I did add the additional vegetables to the dish.  I love the different colors and textures all together, not to mention all the extra nutrition and yum factor!  If you are interested in doing it this way, add the onion strips and baby carrots at the beginning for the entire cooking time.  

Add in the "hard" veggies that will stand up to hours of cooking - onion slices and baby carrots.
a handful of sliced onions

a handful of baby carrots, whole
Today, I am doing the dish on HI for 4 hours.


Add the drained water chestnuts and broccoli (along with the slurry of cornstarch and gravy - or flour and cold water), in the last 30 minute cooking segment.  Remember, the cornstarch needs to come to a boil to do its job as a thickener, so mix - lid on - no peeking - hi for 30!

 Garnish with green onions and serve over hot, steamed rice.
If you are making this in the morning for your "after work" meal, the last 30 minute cooking segment will give you enough time to put on a pot of rice.  Not bad for pulling together a whole meal in record after-work time! ... not to mention delicious!  And we all know that beef, cooked low and slow over all that time practically falls apart on its own... yummm.

Even faster prep - the night before, cut up beef and store the strips in a zip top bag.  Also, mix up the sauce and slice the onions.  In the morning, take everything out of the fridge, combine the beef, sauce, onions and carrots in the slow cooker, turn it on, and you are out the door.

My mother noted that she would have enjoyed even more fresh ginger.  If you are a ginger lover like she is, by all means, add more.  If you don't have little kids sharing the meal, feel free to add more Sriracha chili sauce for a bigger kick.  Just have fun with your meals.  By all means...  Be guinea pigs for new recipes with some people that you love.

PS... this is also great over noodles!

Viewer Submitted Photo - 
This is Evette, who sent in this amazing photo of her Crock Pot Beef and Broccoli after her day at work.  Looks awesome! 
Written Directions
Season the beef strips with salt and pepper and add to the crock pot.  Mix the sauce ingredients and pour over beef. Mix the sauce with the beef so that each strip of meat is coated.  Turn crock pot on low 6-8 hrs or high for 4 hours. After this cooking time, remove 2-3 Tbsp of sauce, let it cool slightly, then mix it with 2 Tbsp corn starch to make a slurry. Add a bag of fresh broccoli florets to beef. Add the cornstarch slurry back to the sauce and mix well. Cook on HIGH for an additional 30 minutes.  This will allow the sauce to come to a boil so the cornstarch to thicken sauce, and also allow for the broccoli to cook.  Adjust seasonings and serve over rice.  Garnish with sliced green onions.

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10 comments:

  1. Anxious to try this....been looking for some crock pot recipes since going back to work :0)

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    Replies
    1. Karen - let me know how it goes. I'm not sure it gets easier than this one. :)

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    2. Karen - just read over your profile. Girl... you are living in my native state. I'm originally from Louisiana, and I'm an LSU alumni! :)

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  2. I made this yesterday, but by the time I got home, almost all of the liquid had cooked off and left the meat looking burned (though it was still nice and tender on the inside). I quickly realized my error -- not accounting for high altitude. So, next time I think I'll double the beef stock and bump up the other seasonings a little, too. Even after all of that, it was yummy and a husband-approved dinner!

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    Replies
    1. Claire - thanks for the note (especially to other readers at high altitudes). What an "interesting" experience you had! Glad it came out nice in spite of all that! With toddlers here, I try to keep the amount of heat down; but for all grown ups, definitely go for it with the spice! I appreciate you trying out the recipe. :-)

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  3. Hey. Just saw your recipe on pinterest and I can't wait to try it. It'll be nice to come home to it after our birthday museum trip next weekend. :) thanks for the recipe! I'll post how it goes.

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    Replies
    1. Can't wait for you to try this out!! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Hope you will be back! :)

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  4. Thanks for sharing over on Facebook! I'm off to pin it for later! Delicious!

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  5. Doubted myself a few times in 4 hours but just had my second plate. I used the flour and water and laid it over jasmine rice. EXCELLENT. The fresh ginger made it...TY

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  6. I just found you on Pinterest. I've been looking through your recipes - I need something to make for a friend who is on "home rest" during her last trimester of her pregnancy, and I think this recipe would be great. Thank you for sharing, and I'm your newest subscriber! Can't wait to keep perusing your site!

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