Broccoli Beef (and my history of cooking meat)

I grew up in a mostly vegetarian home (we ate chicken and sometimes fish, but no pork or red meat), so when I married the burger, bacon, and steak loving Dearliest, I had to make some gradual adjustments. For the first year I couldn’t cook it. I couldn’t even really look at it, so the Dearliest was in charge of buying and preparing his own red meat. This worked out well, but I felt like a challenge was getting the better of me in a way. I love to cook, and especially that first year I strove to expand my abilities. By not even looking at cow I feel I missed out on some wonderful things.

Enter year two. I could look at it, and I could even prepare it in a few small ways, but I still couldn’t eat it beyond a bite here or there. If I made a beef dish for the Dearliest, I usually made the same dish with chicken or ground turkey for myself. My big triumph this year was being able to easily handle raw chicken breasts. Baby steps, y’all!

Year three saw some major jumps. I could work with a whole chicken, roast it, and strip the meat with ease. I discovered I loved meatloaf, and when Ken made a chuck roast, I could enjoy quite a bit of it.

By year four I’d developed a little list of meat dishes I could prepare well, and while I ate them, I made them mostly for the Dearliest.

That is until last year, when I was expecting TR, and I craved beef like nobody’s business. I went on a hunt for beef recipes, and then I found this recipe and the hunt ended. I tweaked it a bit the first few times I made it, but then I landed on what worked well for me and proceeded to have the dish 2-3 times a week for months. It was wonderful, and now I’m going to share my version with you.

IMG_7740

Broccoli Beef

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 bullion cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 pound boneless steak, cut into thin strips
  • 4 cups broccoli florets, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons oil for cooking

1) Combine all ingredients except beef, broccoli, and oil in a small bowl. Stir to dissolve corn starch.
2) Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook until browned (around 3 minutes). Don’t overcook it here.
3) Remove beef from skillet. Add broccoli and sauce to skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then simmer and stir occasionally until the sauce thickens and the broccoli starts to become tender.
4) Stir in beef and continue cooking another minute or two.

This is really good served over noodles or rice.

Notes:
– 2 cups of chicken or beef broth can be substituted for the 2 cups of water + 2 bullion cubes
– I have made this using chicken before. It’s good.
– Any sort of beef steak can work in this, but I’m particularly fond of round eye steak.
– If you want a thinner sauce, add more water at the simmer stage to get your desired consistency. If you want a thicker sauce, dissolve 1 Tablespoon corn starch in 1 tablespoon cold water, then add at the simmer stage. Repeat as necessary.
– If you want to save a little cooking time, partially steam the broccoli in the beginning. 3-4 minutes should be enough. If you do this, you don’t need to remove the beef from the skillet later.

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One thought on “Broccoli Beef (and my history of cooking meat)

  1. Weird what pregnancy does to us. I had Brussels sprout cravings! I am mostly vegetarian too, although I eat some fish. I do cook meat for Mr P and the boys although my list of meat dishes is a bit limited. Big J is very much a meat eater but Little J has recently started refusing meat. He says he “feels poor for the animals”, so he ends up having what I’m having.

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