Mom’s Beef and Broccoli

Mom’s Beef and Broccoli

As I’ve mentioned before, my mom lived in Taiwan for a few years in her twenties (for more information about why, feel free to DM me on Instagram or Twitter).  This means that, not only did she come home with some amazing experiences, but she came home with some amazing small-town, authentic Taiwanese/Chinese recipes.  But this one is my favorite.  And in a post dedicated to my wonderful mother, what better recipe to share than my favorite thing she taught me to make.

My mother is incredible.  She’s easily one of the most dedicated, hardworking people I’ve ever met.  She had a successful career, raised several kids, and always managed to find time to get things done around the house.  Her energy and willpower seem limitless.  It’s quite inspiring to watch her (and also a little daunting)!  She’s strong and opinionated, determined and fierce.  And she’s my hero.  I mean, I’m pretty sure my mom is Wonder Woman (*recently confirmed by my dad).  She doesn’t see it- she’s always got one reason or other for how she can do everything and still find time to read about 2-3 dozen books a year – but I know the truth.  And while I can’t be her and do everything under the planet successfully and efficiently, I’ve learned so much about the person I can be from her.  So this post is dedicated to my mom, for the example she is and the life she taught me to live.  Thanks, mom.

Mom’s Beef and Broccolitime etc

Guys, this recipe is really easy.  In fact, it may seem so easy that you’ll wonder if it’s even worth eating.  Yeah, it’s a little basic – like all good homemade classics are – but I think it’s so good I’ll literally find excuses to drink the leftover sauce.  It’s so good you’ll probably stop eating beef and broccoli at restaurants because it won’t taste quite like this…

First, and always, we start the rice.  Come on, you’re old hats at this by now!  Rinse the rice, add water up to your first knuckle, turn on the rice cooker.  Again, if you don’t have one of those Christmas is just around the corner…  Maybe it’s time to splurge on the most-used gadget in my kitchen.

Then let’s slice the steak into long, thin strips.  Preferably about 1-2 inches long and 1/8-1/4 inch thick.  To make it easy, slice against the grain.  You see the way the muscle lines flow?  Slice perpendicular to that.  It’ll make a cleaner, easier cut.  Place all the meat in a bowl and add enough soy sauce to submerge, but not drown the meat.  It’s a fine line.

Wash everything (knife, cutting board, counter) so there’s no cross contamination.  Then rinse and cut the broccoli.  We want to keep just the florets in bite-size pieces.  I usually cut the stalk off and then break the broccoli up.  When you cut broccoli, sometimes the floret breaks apart, so this is my recommendation.  You can remove or leave as much of the stalk as you want – me, I remove as much as I can.  Place the broccoli in a separate bowl.  Then wash and dice the green onions into 1 inch pieces and separate into 2 piles.

When the rice is done (or nearly so) get out your trusty wok.  I guess you could try and make this in a frying pan, but it won’t cook the same and it may not taste the same.  Also, it’ll probably take way longer to cook.  But if you try it, let me know!

oil and onionsAnyway, add half the vegetable oil to your wok and turn the heat on as high as it’ll go.  Two things about this are important: 1) turn the heat up as high as it’ll go.  Trust me.  A proper stir fry, a proper wok, is cooked over very high heat.  Because of the way a wok works, things’ll get mushy and take forever if you cook it low.  And 2) use vegetable, canola, avocado, or some other high heat oil.  DO NOT cook this with olive oil.  The oil can’t handle those temperatures and it’ll burn, baby burn. 

Add half the green onions to this oil and wait until the onions start to sizzle and pop.  When they do, you know the oil is ready.  Add all the meat and soy sauce together (it should be nicely marinated by now) and cook, stirring frequently/continuously, until the steak is brown on the outside, but still probably pink on the inside.  Depending on how much liquid you added you may need to push the meat up out of the liquid onto the sides.  We don’t want the meat to boil, we want it to fry.  This’ll take between 2-4 minutes.

remove the steak

Remove the steak carefully, I don’t want any burns on my conscience, and put it into a new bowl – or the same bowl, but washed.  Again, no cross contamination here!  Add the remaining oil and green onions and wait for the sizzle and pop.

When you hear it, add the broccoli and stir until it’s completely shiny, about 1 minute.  At this point, make a well in the middle of the broccoli so the wok shows through and add all the cold water at once.  Quickly cover and allow the broccoli to steam for several minutes, or until tender.  Check after 3 and see how it’s doing – add more water if necessary, but be quick, we don’t want the steam escaping!

cook together

When the broccoli is ready add the steak and sauce back to the wok and stir until everything is well-mixed.  Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes so the broccoli can soak up all that delicious soy sauce.  Serve over rice and enjoy!

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Mom's Beef and Broccoli

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Delicious beef with broccoli in a soy sauce marinade

Ingredients

  • 1 pound london broil or sirloin steak – 1-1.5 cups soy sauce – 4-5 large broccoli crowns – 1 bunch green onions – 1 cup very cold water – 4 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil – 3 cups calrose or other sticky rice – enough water to cover the rice to your first knuckle

Directions

  1. Rinse the rice and add water so that it comes to your first knuckle when your finger rests on top of the rice. Add the lid and turn on the rice cooker. 2. Slice the steak into long, thin strips, preferably about 1-2 inches long and 1/8-1/4 inch thick. 3. Place all the meat in a bowl and add enough soy sauce to submerge, but not drown the meat.  It’s a fine line. 4. Wash and cut the broccoli into bite-size florets. Place the broccoli in a bowl. 5. Wash and dice the green onions into 1 inch pieces and separate into 2 piles. 6. When the rice is done (or nearly so) add half the vegetable oil and half the green onions to your wok and turn the heat on as high. 7. When the onions start to sizzle and pop add all the meat and soy sauce together and cook, stirring frequently/continuously, until the steak is brown on the outside, but still pink on the inside. You may need to push the meat up out of the liquid onto the sides. This will take between 2-4 minutes. 8. Remove the steak carefully and put it into a new bowl – or the same bowl, but washed. 9. Add the remaining oil and green onions and wait for the sizzle and pop. 10. Add the broccoli and stir until it’s completely shiny, about 1 minute. 11. Make a well in the middle of the broccoli so the wok shows through and add all the cold water at once. Quickly cover and allow the broccoli to steam for several minutes, or until tender, about 5-8 minutes. You may need to add more water halfway through. 12. When the broccoli is ready add the steak and sauce back to the wok and stir until everything is well-mixed. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes so the flavors can meld together.

    Serve over rice and enjoy!

Prime Meat Stew

Prime Meat Stew

I realize I totally fell off the goal train last month.  I’m sorry for not writing as many posts as I claimed I would.  I got pretty caught up in the goal I was focusing on for February and sort of ignored EVERYTHING else.  Not good, I know, but at least hopefully understandable?  But it’s okay because this month is focusing on my social goal a.k.a. focusing here!  YAY!  I’m working on getting a backlog of recipes (for when I don’t have time to post), organizing my thankful recipes (for the upcoming months), and writing a couple of thoughts posts.  I’m also working on being better about reading on commenting on all of your wonderful blogs.  I know that community is the thing I struggle most with… and for that I am sorry!  You guys are all so great to be here and I want to be there for you, too.

One more thing I’m working on for this month?  Brainstorming a way to get videos to you all so you can follow along with me and learn some new skills.  After my poll, where a Twitch stream was the overwhelming favorite, I feel like I actually do want to help everyone up their cooking game.  This isn’t about making it pretty or cutting out vital pieces to make a succinct video.  It’s about teaching you the techniques I use to help the people who keep commenting “they can’t cook” feel like they can.  Because trust me, if my self-taught self can do this, so can you!

Oh! And one last thing before we get one with it.  You guys are the best.

Prime Meat Stewdifficulty and time

One of my favorite things about these BotW recipe’s is trying to take some really strange additions to normal meals and make them into a reality.  This recipe is no exception.  Why on earth would you add wheat to a stew?  And how can I make a beef stew with something like milk?  It’s just weird, people.  Weird.  But that’s what makes it fun!  So get ready for a surprisingly delicious recipe. P.S. this recipe makes a lot.  I like having stew for leftovers for days.  If you don’t, you’ll want to scale it back.

ingredients photo for prime meat stew

This recipe started when I accidentally purchased the most expensive roast of my life.  Here’s how it went.

Me: Do you have chuck roast in your Prime beef?

Butcher: Nope.  We have rib roast, though.  Would you like that?

Me, super naively: Sure!  Is that like a regular roast?

Butcher: Yep.

Me: Let’s do it.

Cut to him handing me the 2 pound package of roast.

Me: *Checks price on package.  Price says $45.00* Oh.

So, while the beef was definitely insanely delicious, I don’t recommend doing what I did.  However, with the information we learned about the different levels of quality with beef in this Salt Grilled Prime Meat recipe, I knew I needed prime… Do I recommend using it to you readers?  Only if you have a lot of money you like to very quickly eat away.  Will I ever do this again?  Well, it’s a bit too rich for my bank account.  But it was amazing.  So what should you use instead?  Any rump, chuck, or stew roast will do nicely.  That’s what I usually use and it turns out like a dream.

So now that we’ve got the “Prime” out of the way we needed to figure out how to add those strange Breath of the Wild ingredients.  The first one: Tabantha Wheat.  It feels like a bit of a cheat but I simply dredged my meat in flour before searing it.  Have you ever had a stew where the meat breaks up into tiny little pieces because it’s perfectly braised?  Annoying because you can’t get a full piece of meat, but delicious, right?  Well, dredging prevents it from breaking up into tiny pieces.  It gives the meat a bit of a crust to stew in and holds it together until you decide to chew, leaving you with the perfect, falling apart bite.  So let’s start with cutting the roast into cubes, about an inch squared.  Then add flour, salt, and pepper to the cubes and roll them around to completely coat each one.  It’s pretty easy.  You can totally do this.

Add the oil to the bottom of a heavy-bottom pan.  I used a pot because I was silly.  A pan works just as well.  As I’ve mentioned in… pretty much all of my previous posts, I love cast iron and use it almost exclusively for pans.  But a regular pan will work just fine as long as it can handle high heat and then sustained low heat… so, like, a regular pan with a lid.  Heat the oil on medium high and, once it’s hot, starting adding the dredged meat.

dredged meat to pan

Don’t add it all together.  We really need to shake off the excess flour, because excess flour sticks to the bottom and makes it even more of a mess to clean than it already will be. Oh!  By the way, this will be a mess to clean.  So grab a handful of meat, shake it to remove excess flour, add it to the pan, queue to 3rd grade boys laughing hysterically.  Continue doing this until all the meat is added.  Then stir continuously with a plastic or wood (never metal) spatula until all the beef is browned and beautiful.

add liquid and scrape to remove fond

During this process you will get a brown crust sticking to the bottom of the pan.  That’s totally normal.  It’s called a fond (French for “bottom”) and provides some of the best flavor to any sauteed or braised meat.  If you stirred continuously and scraped the bottom of the pan often, like you should have, the fond won’t be a thick layer.  If you didn’t… like me… you’ll get stuck with a thick fond, which is harder to handle.  The way to scrape up this delicious flavor and add it to the stew is to deglaze the pan.  It’s easy.  The next step has us adding beef broth to the pan to braise the meat for an hour.  To deglaze, simply add a few tablespoons only at a time.  When you do that it sizzles and creates steam.  While it’s sizzling scrape the bottom of the pan.  The fond will scrape up and leave you with some nice flavor.  If the liquid gets soaked up before you’re done scraping just add a little more, and, while it sizzles, scrape the rest.  If you have a thick layer it’ll more difficult (maybe even impossible) to scrape it all up.  That’s fine.  It just makes clean up harder.  If you have a thin layer it’ll be a piece of cake.

add liquid to browned meat

Once the fond is scraped and removed from the pan add 2-3 cups of broth, until the meat is barely covered, and bring to a boil.  Once it’s boiling, lower the heat to a rolling simmer, cover, and allow to simmer for an hour.  During this hour make sure you check at least every 10 minutes to stir the meat (so it doesn’t stick and burn) and to make sure all the broth hasn’t boiled off.  If it’s getting low, simply add more.

While the meat is cooking cut up the veggies.  We just want to dice the carrots, onion, and celery into large, bite size pieces, like I have you do in my Veggie Cream Soup.  If you’re using fresh herbs strip them from the stalks and mince.  Again, let’s not belabor something I’ve already taught you so check out the Veggie Cream Soup if you want to remember how.  I don’t dice up the potatoes until the very end because potatoes exposed to oxygen will turn black (an oxidation of the starchy liquid, for those science nerds out there).  If you do want to dice the potatoes now simply place them in a bowl and cover them entirely with water.  It’ll act as a barrier to the oxygen so they shouldn’t go black.

making a roux

When the hour is almost up let’s move on to how I added milk to this recipe.  I’ve never, in my life, added milk to a beef stew.  It was a puzzle worthy of being it’s own shrine (though not dungeon).  So I turned to an old-fashioned roux.  But instead of using a roux to thicken the stew with broth (which is the normal route, for heaven’s sake, Link) we are going to use a little milk and then finish it up with broth.  Complicated, but necessary to include that odd ingredient.

I feel like I mention it so often you don’t need the link, but for instructions on how to make a roux, check it out in Fish Pie.  Heat butter on medium in a heavy-bottom saucepan, add flour a bit at a time once the butter has melted completely, whisk until thickened and bubbly.  Now add the milk all at once and whisk until combined, smooth, and thick.  At this point add 3 cups of beef broth, 1 cup at a time, and whisk until thick and smooth.  Once that mixture is ready dump all the beef and remaining liquid from your meat into the sauce.  Be careful.  Since everything is hot you don’t want to get splashed and burned.  Add the vegetables, herbs, and more salt and pepper to taste.  Add another cup of beef broth and stir until homogeneous.  Bring liquid to a boil and then lower to a gentle simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and cooked through.  Serve and be delighted!  P.S. this recipe goes really well with Becky’s Rolls.

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Link’s Prime Meat Stew

    • Rock Salt
    • Hylian Rice
    • Hearty Blueshell Snail or any Porgy

Prime Meat Stew

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Roast beef stew with carrots, celery, and potatoes


Ingredients

  • 2 pounds chuck, rump, or other stew roast
  • 6 celery stalks
  • 5 medium carrots
  • 4 medium potatoes, any variety
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano or 2 tablespoons fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme, or 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 1 medium onion
  • 8-10 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour, plus 3-4 tablespoons for dredging
  • 2-3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cut the roast into 1 inch square cubes
  2. Add the 3-4 tablspoons dredging flour, about 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to the cubes and roll them around to completely coat each one.
  3. Add oil to the bottom of a heavy-bottom pan. Heat the oil on medium high.
  4. Add the dredged meat, one handful at a time, first shaking off the excess flour. Continue until all meat has been added.
  5. Stir continuously with a plastic or wood spatula until all the beef is browned.
  6. Remove the fond by adding 2-3 tablespoons beef broth to the pan and remove the fond by scraping. Repeat until all the fond has been removed.
  7. Add 2-3 cups of water, until the beef is barely covered, and bring to a boil.  Once it’s boiling, lower the heat to a rolling simmer, cover, and allow to simmer for an hour.  During this hour make sure you check at least every 10 minutes to stir the meat. If the broth level is getting low simply add more.
  8. While the meat is cooking cut up the carrots, onion, and celery into large, bite-sized pieces. If you’re using fresh herbs strip them from the stalks and mince. Dice the potatoes when the meat has stewed for nearly the entire hour to prevent oxidation.
  9. Heat, on medium, a large 6-7 quart heavy-bottom dutch oven or pot. Add the butter.
  10. Once the butter is melted and bubbling, add half the flour and whisk continuously until it’s completely incorporated and thick. Add the remainder of the flour and repeat until combined and bubbling slightly.
  11. Add the milk to the flour mixture and stir until homogeneous and thickened. Add 3 cups of beef broth, 1 cup at a time, and whisk until thick and smooth between each addition.
  12. Once the sauce is ready add all the meat and the braising liquid to the sauce. Stir until combined.
  13. Add the vegetables, herbs, and salt and pepper to taste to the stew and stir to combine. If there isn’t enough liquid to cover the vegetables add the remainder of the broth and stir until combined.
  14. Bring stew to a boil and lower to a gentle simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and cooked through.  Serve and be delighted!