Friday, June 23, 2006

Asian Dinner Part II: Beef and Broccoli

I recently bought The New Best Recipes cookbook and have eagerly been perusing it for the past few weeks. I tried their recipes for Macaroni and Cheese as well as their Red Salsa with great success. So when I discovered their fairly basic recipe for beef and broccoli, I was inspired to try it. I was worried about the dominance of "oyster sauce," not being a huge seafood fan, but I think it was what made the dish taste so good. The boy commented that it was "not as sweet" as the typical Chinese restaurant dish, but it was still quite delicious.

The key here is to make sure you have everything prepped and ready to go when it comes time to start the actual cooking process. It makes life so much easier. If you are making this in conjuction with dumplings as I did, put the dumplings in to poach right around the time you start to make the beef broccoli. That way they should be done around the same time, or you could serve up the steaming dumplings to hungry guests while you put the finishing touches on the main course.

Beef and Broccoli
from The New Best Recipe
Serves 2

1/2 lb flank steak, sliced across the grain into thin 1 inch pieces
2 TBS soy sauce

1/2 TBS dry sherry
1 TBS chicken broth
3 TBS oyster sauce
1/2 TBS brown sugar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp cornstarch
3 medium cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 TBS minced ginger
1 1/2 TBS vegetable or peanut oil
1/2 lb broccoli florets
2 TBS water
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 med scallion, chopped

1) Combine beef and soy sauce in bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refridgerate for at least 10 minutes or up to an hour, stirring once.
2) Whisk together sherry, chicken broth, oyster sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and cornstarch in a measuring cup. Set aside.
3) Combine garlic, ginger, and 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a small bowl. Set aside.
4) Drain beef and discard liquid. Heat 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a non-stick skillet over high heat until smoking. Add beef to skillet and break up clumps. Cook without stirring for one minute, then stir and cook until beef is browned. (If doubling the meat, cook in batches). Transfer beef to a bowl and set aside.
5) Add 1/2 TBS oil until just smoking. Add broccoli and cook for 30 seconds. Add water and cover, lowering heat to medium. Steam until tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer to paper towel lined plate.
6) Add remaining oil (~1 teaspoon) to skillet. Increase heat to high and heat until just smoking. Add bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently until browning, about 2 minutes.
7) Clear the center of the skillet, add the garlic and ginger mixture to the clearing and cook, mashing the misture with a spoon, until fragrant, abotu 15 - 20 seconds, then stir the mixture into the peppers. Return the beef and broccoli to the skillet and toss to combine. Whisk the sauce to recombine, then add to skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thickened and evenly distributed, about 1 minute. Transfer to serving platter, sprinkle with scallions, and serve.

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