Better Than Takeout Beef & Broccoli

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Serves 4

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen, this dish was so flavorful Farmer Rob had me make it twice in one week! There are a few steps involved, but you’ll be rewarded with a richly flavoured dish.  Before the beef is stir-fried, it’s marinated in thin slices in soy sauce for an hour, drained, and cooked at a very high heat. The broccoli is sautéed and steamed in the same pan and the garlic is added last to keep it from burning. A bit of cornstarch makes the sauce cling to the meat and vegetables. To make slicing the steak easier, freeze it for 20 minutes.  The recipe calls for 1 pound of flank steak, which is half of a steak.  I immediately doubled the recipe to use the whole steak and the leftovers were delicious!  Just make sure you double all the sauce ingredients as well.  It’s crucial to take the time to sear the beef in small batches, as trying to do it all at once crowds the pan and makes the beef steam, rather than sear.  

Ingredients
  • 1 pound flank steak, cut into 2-inch-wide strips with the grain, then sliced across the grain into 1/8-inch-thick slices
    OR 1 pound stir-fry mix 
  • 3 Tbsp.  soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar, dry sherry or mirin (you’re looking for a sweet note to the acid) 
  • 1 tsp. sambal oelek or Sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons Lepp’s chicken or beef broth, or ½ tsp. Major chicken or beef base mixed with 2 Tbsp. hot water
  • 5 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press or minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, minced (about 1 tablespoon) My favorite tip – Store ginger in the freezer, and grate the frozen ginger with a microplane or small grater.  
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed or vegetable oil
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups broccoli florets, cut into bite-size pieces, stems trimmed, peeled, and cut on diagonal into 1/8-inch-thick slices (about 1 pound, or 2 small heads) 
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 3 medium green onions, sliced 1/2-inch thick on diagonal
Method
  • Combine beef and soy sauce in medium bowl; refrigerate at least 10 minutes or up to 1 hour, stirring once. Meanwhile, whisk sherry, sambal oelek, chicken or beef broth, oyster sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, cornstarch and salt and pepper in measuring cup. Combine garlic, ginger, and 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in small bowl.
  • Drain beef and discard liquid. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until smoking. (turn up the exhaust fan!) Add half of beef to skillet and break up clumps; cook, without stirring, for 1 minute, then stir and cook until beef is browned around edges, about 30 seconds. (it will cook more in the sauce). Don’t overcook or it won’t be as tender!  Transfer beef to plate and cover to keep warm. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in the skillet, and repeat with remaining beef.  It’s important not to crowd the beef so that it sears, rather than steams. Take the time to do it in two batches.  
  • Add 1 tablespoon oil to now-empty skillet; heat until shimmering.  Add broccoli and red pepper and cook 30 seconds; add water, cover pan, and lower heat to medium. Steam broccoli and peppers until tender-crisp about 2 minutes. Push the broccoli to the sides of the pan and add the garlic/ginger/oil to the center of the pan, mashing the mixture with a spoon, until fragrant, about 15 to 20 seconds, then stir the mixture into the broccoli and peppers.
  • Return beef to skillet and toss to combine. Whisk sauce to recombine, then add to skillet; cook, stirring constantly until sauce is thickened and evenly distributed, about 30 seconds. Transfer to serving platter, sprinkle with scallions and serve.
  • Return beef to skillet and toss to combine. Whisk sauce to recombine, then add to skillet; cook, stirring constantly until sauce is thickened and evenly distributed, about 30 seconds. Transfer to serving platter, sprinkle with scallions and serve.