Beef with Broccoli

I saw Blake Shelton in concert over the weekend, along with openers Jana Kramer and Easton Corbin.  All of them put on a great show.  Blake also busted out a cowboy hat and fake mullet, taking the audience back to his “Some Beach” and “Austin” days.  It’s always great when celebs can poke fun at themselves.  And yes, I took a pic of him on the screen…we were too far away for me to get a decent photo of him on the stage.

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In unrelated news, I looooove take out.  I looooooove ethnic food.  I loooooove eating out.  I looooooove cooking.  Therefore, I love making take out-esque ethnic food that makes me feel like I’m eating out.  “Take out fake out” is a common phrase in the food blog world and let me just say that I hate, hate, hate that phrase.  I am not sure why, but I just think it sounds kind of dumb.  However, if I was a liker of the term take out-fake out, then I would say that this dish, my first time using a recipe by Rainy Day Gal, is on par with that ideal.

I did make some (a lot) changes, though.  My husband likes broccoli, but I don’t, so I bought frozen, not fresh, and he likes it cooked until very soft, as opposed to crisp-tender, so I cooked it a bit more, then added it to the stir fry.  I thought I had cooking sherry, but it turned out that I had ran out at some point, so I used red wine vinegar instead.  I’m not really sure what it did to the dish, but I’m sure it did something.  Additionally, so that I could have veggies too, I added snow peas and red bell pepper.  My husband doesn’t like red bell pepper, so as you’ll see in the pictures, one bowl has beef, snow peas, and red bell pepper, and the other bowl has beef, snow peas, and broccoli.  We are living proof that opposite taste buds can still share a household.  Barely. 😉

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The original blogger stated that if you use regular soy sauce (as opposed to low sodium), the dish will be way, way too salty.  I only use low sodium soy sauce anyway (I usually hate the taste of salt), but it still tasted almost too salty to me, despite the balance of soy sauce and sweeter ingredients, like brown sugar.  Next time (though there won’t be a next time, given my venture to never make the same dish twice), I would perhaps use less soy sauce and add in another sweet ingredient to help balance better.  On the other hand, my husband did not think it was too salty at all.

I had a limited amount of time, so I didn’t pair it with rice, but instead I paired it with a random bunch of soba noodles I had leftover in my cupboard (not including boiling time, soba noodles take 4 minutes to cook, whereas rice takes 45).  It was a nice change of pace, though, since I almost always have a rice side with Asian dishes.

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Beef with Broccoli (and other vegetables)

serves 4

Ingredients:
For the marinade:
-1/2tsp baking soda
-1tsp sugar
-1tbsp cornstarch
-1tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
-1tbsp water
-2tbsp vegetable oil (I used peanut oil)
-1.5lbs flank steak, sliced into thin strips
For the stir fry and sauce:
-1/2cu low-sodium soy sauce
-2tbsp brown sugar
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-2tbsp flour
-1tbsp sherry
-3 tbsp vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
-broccoli
-other assorted vegetables of your choosing

Directions:
-Prior to dinnertime, whisk together the baking soda, sugar, cornstarch, soy sauce, water, and vegetable oil in a large bowl. Toss the steak with the marinade to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Typically I like to marinade meat overnight, or at least 8 hours, but this time I only had 2 hours to marinate it, while I was at a meeting after work, before dinner, but it still turned out so tender!
-In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, flour and sherry until smooth. Set aside.
-In a large wok, heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil over medium high heat until shimmering. Add broccoli and saute 3 minutes, stirring often. Transfer broccoli to a plate (because I used frozen broccoli, and my husband likes it more tender, I cooked the broccoli first, then stir fried it for about one more minute).
-Carefully add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the hot pan, if necessary. Add the marinated meat and half of the sauce mixture and saute, stirring often, until the meat is cooked through and no longer pink. Stir in the broccoli and assorted other vegetables of your choosing, and remaining sauce. Saute 1 minute more, then serve over noodles or rice.

A few other take out-esque dishes you may be interested in:

Chinese Orange Beef

Sweet and Sour Chicken (I’m begging you, actually, to make this – it is SO GOOD).

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