Before I gave birth to baby Sally, I stocked my freezer with a TON of meals so that life would be easier (well at least dinner time would be easier) once she was actually born. Turns out Sally was the worlds best newborn and is just now becoming a challenging baby -sigh- so I need easy meals ready and waiting in my freezer again more than ever. Someone constantly needs something from me these days so knowing dinner is once less thing I need to think about is a huge weight lifted!
I’m not sure if growing up in Japan or having adventurous-when-it-comes-to-food parents are what molded me into the type of eater that I am today or if it was just something I was born with, but I do know I love ethnic food and could honestly eat it every night. Chinese, Indian, Mexican, Japanese, spanish, Greek. All equally delicious and tempting. But since it’s absurd to think a family can eat out (or take out) every single night of the week it’s awesome to have some take-out style foods available to make at home.
This Beef and Broccoli is perfection, people. The trick is not to over cook it. You don’t want the beef “shredding” and turning into something that tastes like pot roast. You want the steak just barely done and holding together. If you make nothing else for your family ever again in your entire life- make this. And make a LOT of it because you’re whole family will have seconds and you’ll probably be jonesing for leftovers in the morning.
Here’s how you make it:
(I recommend quadrupling this recipe as you make it so you have 3 freezer meal bags of it all ready to go.)
Take-Out Style Chinese Beef and Broccoli
1 can beef broth
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 tablespoon of minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
a few pieces of lemon rind (white pith removed- you’ll take these out at the end so make sure they are large enough to find later!)
generous drizzle of sriracha (leave this out if you prefer less heat)
1 flank steak, sliced into thin strips
3 tablespoons corn starch
1 head of broccoli cut into nice bite size florets
1 green bell pepper, largely diced
*If assembling this into freezer meal(s) package broccoli and beef mixture in separate ziplock bags, then place both into a single ziplock to keep the meal together in your freezer.*
In your crockpot, combine first 10 ingredients and stir to combine. Add beef in an even layer. Cook for **4 hours on low**. Note that this recipe does take LESS time in the crockpot than a typical freezer meal. You can throw it in around lunch time and it’ll still be ready for dinner!
After 4 hours, switch the crockpot to warm setting and remove about 4 tablespoons of broth into a small mixing bowl. To the removed broth add the cornstarch and stir. Pour this mixture back into your crockpot and add the broccoli and green pepper. Cover again and leave for about 30 minutes longer. This will heat the broccoli through without causing everything to get mushy. While the greens cook, you have the perfect amount of time to make rice on the stove. My parents happen to have the BEST Japanese rice cooker on the planet. I’ve tried to find a good one that functions as well as theirs and failed miserably. But I have discovered perfect stove rice and this is how you make it:
1. Buy KOKUHO ROSE WHITE RICE. This makes perfect Japanese sticky rice. No other type of rice will do here, people. Joking 😉 but honestly try and find this. It’s in a pink and white bag at the regular grocery store these days so it shouldn’t be too hard to find!
2. Add 2 cups of (unwashed) rice to a small pot along with 2 1/2 cups cool water.
3. Bring the pot to a full, rolling boil and leave sit for about 1 minute. Turn down to low, cover, and let cook for 20 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and let sit another 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
Serve the Beef and Broccoli over the hot white rice with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and extra sriracha if you like things spicy like we do!