Our Country Kitchen
We have all types of recipes over here in the Goodparla Our Country Kitchen and this week, we are excited to share one of our Chinese style recipes! Using Goodparla’s finest pastured-raised beef, we show you how to turn our delicious sirloin into your very own Chinese broccoli & beef. Made in the slow cooker with a savory sauce, fresh broccoli and mouthwatering beef, this is a recipe that is sure to please. Let’s dig right into this recipe!
Preparing the beef
As mentioned, we love to use our finest sirloin for this recipe. We find that it lends so much flavor and the sirloin is melt in your mouth amazing. However, there are several suitable cuts of meat that can make great substitutes for this at home Chinese style dinner. If that is your preference, we recommend sticking to either flank steak or skirt steak for this particular recipe. We do not recommend using stew meat (like a chuck roast) for this recipe because these cuts are fattier and often do better when browned first and then cooked low and slow.
Once you’ve got your meat, you want to slice the meat into strips, cutting across the grain. The ‘grain’ of the meat is referring to the direction the muscle fibers run within the piece of meat – the muscle fibers are parallel to one another creating a fine grain just like you’d see in a piece of wood. Now, to cut against the grain means you cut across the muscle fibers – you do not want to cut in the same direction of the muscle fibers, but across them, as shown below.
Something to keep in mind: this recipe calls for 3 pounds of meat and has a suggested serving of ½ lb. of cooked meat to feed six – adjust as you see fit for your family.
Let’s talk broccoli
This recipe calls 1 ½ heads of fresh broccoli but you can definitely substitute frozen broccoli for fresh. If you use fresh broccoli, you will need to wash it and then cut it into florets before adding it to the slow cooker. To use frozen broccoli, add about 5 ¼ cups to the slow cooker. Since a medium sized broccoli head averages 3 ½ cups of broccoli, using just over five cups of frozen broccoli should be sufficient as a substitution. Make sure you do not thaw the broccoli, as this will make it mushy.
This dinner has a cook time of 3 hours and 15 minutes; with 3 of those hours being in the slow cooker. Here’s our best suggestions for the perfect time to add the broccoli to the slow cooker. We suggest adding the broccoli after the meat has been in the slow cooker for 2 hours and 15 minutes, or alternatively, when you have 45 minutes left in the slow cooker. This is for either fresh broccoli or frozen. If you prefer a crispy ‘bite’ to your broccoli, you could add this in after 2 and a half hours (or when there is 30 minutes left).
What the sauce boils down to…
We have tried some different variations of this recipe, and this one here is the leader among the pack. We believe it has everything to do with the savory, thick and sticky sauce that coats the beef and broccoli. However, it does take about 10 minutes on the stove-top to really make it perfect.
The sauce we use is made from the initial liquid that we cook our broccoli and beef in. It’s the simple garlic, soy sauce, broth, brown sugar and sesame oil that has been simmering with the meat and broccoli for hours. Once you remove the cooked beef and broccoli after 3 hours, the remaining liquid will be rather thin. The best way to thicken this sauce up and to really bind the flavors is to use a ‘slurry’ – that is, cold water and cornstarch that has been whisked together before being added to the sauce.
Now, we’ve made this recipe using the slurry in two different ways. The first variation, we added the slurry mix directly into the slow cooker at the same time that we added the broccoli. While this version is technically less work, and is considered a true one-pot ‘dump it and leave it’ recipe, we found the sauce to still be too thin. All the great flavors were there, but we felt like it was just lacking in slightest bit. This version of the recipe calls for the slurry to be added to the liquid once the liquid has been transferred to a saucepan and the broccoli and beef removed.
This way, our sauce really gets to a thick consistency that really coats and sticks to our meat & broccoli. Remember to follow the instructions about using a ladle to pour the prepared sauce onto the beef and broccoli, as there really is a large amount of sauce and you might regret dumping it all in one fell swoop.
Remember to Enjoy!
This is an easy meal that already has a meat and a vegetable in it, so we like to serve ours with freshly cooked white rice. You can garnish with sesame seeds, if you’d like, but the most important thing is to tuck in and enjoy!
Slow-cooker Easy Chinese Broccoli Beef Recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 3 hours 15 minutes | Serves: 6
*You can substitute about 5 ¼ cups frozen broccoli if you so choose
- Whisk together the beef broth, soy sauce, sesame oil, minced garlic and brown sugar directly in the slow-cooker.
- Slice the sirloin into short strips and place in slow-cooker. Using tongs, make sure to coat the sirloin in the liquid.
- Cover with lid and cook on low heat setting for 2 hours and 15 minutes.
- After 2 hours, prep the broccoli by cutting it into florets.
- At the 2 hour and 15 minutes mark, add the broccoli to the slow-cooker and coat well with liquid. Cover with lid and continue to cook on low heat setting for 45 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon (to drain excess liquid) scoop the beef and broccoli into a serving bowl. Do not discard liquid!
- Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour the liquid from the slow-cooker into the saucepan. Bring to a slight boil.
- In a small measuring cup or bowl, mix together the water and the cornstarch. Whisk into the saucepan, thoroughly mixing the corn starch slurry into the liquid.
- Cook sauce for about 1 to 3 minutes until thickened. Once thickened, using a ladle, pour sauce over the broccoli beef until you have reach desired “sauciness” and mix.
- Serve over one cup of cooked white rice & enjoy!