Monday, February 7, 2011

Beef & Broccoli

Beef and Broccoli is a regular staple in our home courtesy of my husband.  He does all the Asian cooking in our family, which only makes sense given that he grew up with homemade Asian food served for 98% of his meals, maybe even 99%.  If you think I'm kidding, just ask him.  He can remember the times his family enjoyed a restaurant-made meal on one hand (maybe two), and since restaurant dining happened so infrequently he could probably tell you what they ate each time.

Both of my husband's parents were amazing cooks, but it is his dad who taught him most of what he knows in the kitchen.  Even to this day, if my husband needs help trouble shooting a recipe, he calls his dad well before looking in a cookbook or online.  That means I defer to the two generations of Chinese men in my life when it comes to Asian cuisine.  This is their recipe.

The key to good beef and broccoli is the broccoli.  Mushy and overcooked broccoli is never good in my opinion, and since it is one of the main ingredients here, it will ruin the dish.   Make sure broccoli is only cooked until it is bright green in step 4.  Broccoli will continue to cook in subsequent steps and be perfectly tender-crisp when you are ready to serve.


1 pound flank steak (may substitute sirloin steak)
2-3 crowns of broccoli, cut into bite size florets (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Beef Marinade
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dry sherry (or cooking wine)
1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 cup oyster sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3/4 cup beef broth (*see note at bottom)
1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon sesame seeds


1.  Cut steak in even 3/8-inch pieces across the grain, discarding any large sections of fatty connective tissue.  Remember some fat is necessary for flavor so do not attempt to remove all the fat from the steak, just the excessively large areas.

2.  Place sliced meat in large bowl and add soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, sherry, and cornstarch.  Stir until meat is coated and allow to marinate at room temperature for at least 10 minutes (about the time it takes to prep the broccoli). 

3.  Place 1 tablespoon high heat cooking oil in a heated wok or saute pan over high heat.  Once oil is hot, swirl pan to evenly spread oil.  (Note from Holli:  This is my husband's very first wok.  It is so old and grungy that I have replaced it several times with a new one for him and moved this wok into our camping equipment stash...there's a story there I'll have to tell you about sometime.  My husband prefers this one over each new one we have purchased and to my dismay, the wok just resurfaced from storage again. *sigh*)

4.  Place meat in hot wok and cook until heated through, stirring continually to allow meat to cook uniformly, about 3 minutes.  Remove meat from wok and set aside.

4. Place remaining tablespoon of high heat cooking oil in wok or large saute pan and allow oil to heat through, til smoking.  Add broccoli florets and cook, stirring frequently, until bright green and starting to soften slightly, about 2-3 minutes.  Make sure to keep the broccoli moving so it does not scorch.  (Notice the steam/smoke; this pan is hot.)

5.  Add oyster sauce and soy sauce to wok with broccoli.  Stir to coat broccoli with ingredients.  Continue to stir fry for 1 minute.

6.  Add cooked beef to wok with broccoli and stir.  Move ingredients to outside of pan to make a small opening in the center of the wok; add beef broth.  Continue to cook over high heat until broth boils.

7.  Mix 1 tablespoon beef broth with 1 tablespoon cornstarch;  stir to combine.  Add cornstarch mixture to beef broth in center of wok.  Allow sauce to thicken, about 1 minute.  Remove from heat and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve.

*Note for sauce:  I prefer a saucer version of Beef & Broccoli and so the broth has been increased to 3/4 cup.  If you would like a more traditional version with less sauce, add 1/4 cup beef broth.  All other ingredients stay the same.


City Share said...

Yum. That looks great. I make something similar with chow fun noodles based on a recipe out of Joy of Cooking. said...

Yummy! I love beef and broccoli.
I agree with you that the broccoli should not be mushy.Your recipe looks great.

clean and crazy said...

thanks for thi, i am excited to make it this weekend!!

Mamahollioni said...

City Share: I'll have to check out Joy of Cooking. I've been to Joy of Baking but not Joy of Cooking....

Nancy: Couldn't agree more. Yuck.

Clean & Crazy: Let me know how it turns out!