Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Beef and Broccoli

I've attempted homemade Chinese food many times and while the dishes are generally pretty tasty they always seem to be lacking something. The photo that accompanied Sally's Beef and Broccoli post had me hooked. Beef and Broccoli was my go-to dish at Chinese restaurants when I was a kid. I would go to a local spot with my grandmother once a week and I always ordered it, usually with extra sauce. It was thick and rich and so, so good I can almost taste it as I'm typing this post.

Beef and Broccoli
My sauce wasn't as thick and richly dark as the dish from my childhood, but this was spot-on in terms of flavor. I doubled the sauce recipe below since I love extra sauce and I wish I'd done it when I made the dish - the sauce really made it perfect. I also needed more sauce for the marinade - the original recipe didn't coat all the beef. This is a real winner.

Beef and Broccoli
As seen on Bewitching Kitchen, adapted from Simply Recipes

1 pound flank steak or sirloin, sliced thinly across the grain
1 pound broccoli florets
2 tablespoons grape seed oil
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded, cut in slices
1 clove garlic, very finely minced
1 tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons water

For the beef marinade
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce
4 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth (or water)

Start by marinating the beef: mix all ingredients in a bowl, add the pieces of beef and stir to coat the slices. Let it stand for 10 minutes, while you prepare the sauce and blanch the broccoli.

Make the sauce by mixing the oyster sauce, rice wine (or sherry), soy sauce, and chicken stock (or water) in a small bowl. Reserve. Place the broccoli in boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Drain very well and reserve.

Heat a large frying pan or wok over high heat until a bead of water sizzles and instantly evaporates upon contact. Add the cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add the yellow bell pepper and cook it for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly, until it begins to soften. Remove and reserve. Make sure the pan is again very hot, and add the slices of beef, spreading them out all over the surface of the wok or pan in a single layer (preferably not touching). Let the beef fry undisturbed for 1 minute. Flip the beef slices over, add the garlic and reserved bell pepper to the pan and fry for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute until the beef is cooked through.

Pour in the sauce, add the blanched broccoli and bring to a boil. Pour in the dissolved cornstarch and cook, stirring, until the sauce boils and thickens, 30 seconds. Serve over rice.
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