Beef with broccoli is a recipe that my grandmother used to make. I’m sure it’s far from traditional, but it’s easy & delicious, and that’s all that matters!
Beef with broccoli is another dish that I remember from my childhood, something that my grandmother made fairly regularly. My friends thought that my family was a little odd considering the things that we ate, at least at my grandparents’ house (though, as I mentioned, I didn’t eat Chinese food until I was an adult so I didn’t actually eat this when she made it). I was pretty much the only kid at my rural elementary school who had Chinese food on my dinner table. Some of my friends even thought it bizarre that I ate asparagus on a regular basis.
I’ve mentioned before that my grandfather was in the Air Force, so of course the family did lots of traveling and lived in exotic places. No doubt my grandmother picked up a love of exotic foods and she decided to recreate them at home. Dishes like beef with broccoli and chop suey were regulars on the dinner table, and I remember stories about my dad and his sisters being a little self-conscious about her packing the leftovers in their lunch when their classmates were no doubt toting peanut butter on Wonder Bread.
The funny thing is that, as I peruse her recipe books, I find that most of these “exotic” recipes are newspaper or magazine clippings, usually ads published by food companies like La Choy. So the recipes really aren’t exotic at all…they’re just Americanized versions of exotic recipes. But that’s okay, because the only thing that matters is that the food is delicious.
This beef with broccoli, which I adapted a little bit from the recipe that my grandmother clipped from a newspaper recipe section many, many years ago, requires a little bit of prep beforehand. Stir-fries cook quickly so it’s important to have all of the ingredients ready before you start cooking…but once you get that done, you just fry it all up and don’t look back. Skirt steak or flank steak are perfect for this recipe, and freezing the meat for about 45 minutes will make it much easier to slice super-thinly.
This beef with broccoli is a quick and delicious meal-I doubled the recipe so we had lots of leftovers for lunch!
Yield: 4 servings
1 hr, 30 Prep Time:
15 minCook Time:
- 1 pound boneless beef, trimmed of fat (flank steak or skirt steak are preferred)
- 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 3 tablespoon soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons dry sherry
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3/4 pound broccoli, florets cut apart, stems quartered and cut into small pieces
- 1 red, yellow, or orange pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 8 ounces sliced water chestnuts, drained
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- Place the beef onto a baking sheet and place in the freezer for 45 minutes. Remove from the freezer and slice the beef as thinly as possible against the grain. Place into a large bowl.
- Stir together the chicken broth, soy sauce, sherry, cornstarch, and ginger until the cornstarch is dissolved. Pour 1/4 cup of the sauce over the beef and toss to coat. Let stand for 30 minutes.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Remove the beef from the marinade and cook until no longer pink. Remove from the skillet and set aside. Wipe out the skillet.
- Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high in the skillet. Add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds. Add the broccoli, water chestnuts, and the peppers and sauté until crisp-tender, stirring constantly. Add the remaining sauce and cook until thickened. Add the beef and the tomatoes and cook until heated through. Serve with rice or chow mein noodles.
Prep time includes inactive prep time to freeze and marinate the meat.
Click here to print the recipe for beef with broccoli!
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