16 June 2011

Double Take: Pioneer Woman's Beef and Snow Peas, sorta

Homemade Beef with Broccoli
Beef and Snow Peas Broccoli has always been one of my favorite Americanized Chinese foods. And well, you just don't get Americanized Chinese food in Germany, so I've been missing it for the past couple years. Well, almost two years. It will be two years in August. Can you believe it? My time here has gone by so quickly.

But my palate has missed Americanized Chinese food. Particularly takeout. And going to the restaurant and ordering the Flaming Hot Plate from New China Town. Of course, I couldn’t have New China Town even if I still lived in Tucker because it closed several years ago. But I still get hankerings. I never even found a replacement for it in Winston-Salem.

I’ve tried making Pork Fried Rice, but that failed miserably. It’s been a few years so I think I’d do a better job of it now, but I’ve generally shied away from making Chinese at home. It was just too easy to call for takeout. And that way, Bender and I would each get what we wanted since our tastes vary so much when it comes to Chinese food.

Who knew chopped ginger could be so pretty?

But this weekend I decided my tastes mattered more than his. Eh, that’s not a truly accurate statement. I made this for lunch because he eats less then, and I also made sure there was plenty of other food that he’d be happy with in the apartment.

So, I went to the grocery store to pick up the ingredients. Now, I’ve never seen flank steak here in Jena, but lately they’ve had something called “Roastbeef,” and I was hoping that would be a good choice. When I got to checkout, the bill was higher than it’s even been while here, and my eyes about popped out of my head (to be fair, I was shopping for five meals instead of the usual one, two, or three). When I got home, I looked at the meat package: 16. Eeeps. I probably should have looked at the price before I asked for it. Though in all honesty, that would have meant not making this dish while I’m still living here. And, well, that wouldn’t satisfy my craving now, would it?

Time to marinate! Luckily, you don't need to marinate for long!

Beef with Broccoli

1-½ pound flank steak, trimmed of fat and sliced very thin against the grain (the stuff called “Roastbeef” in Germany works exceptionally well too)
½ cups low sodium soy sauce (if you only have full sodium, use 1/3 cup and dilute to ½ cup with water)
3 tablespoons sherry or cooking sherry
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound broccoli, cut into florets
1 tablespoon water
5 whole scallions, cut into half-inch pieces on the diagonal
salt if needed (use sparingly, if at all)
3 tablespoons peanut or olive oil
crushed red pepper, for sprinkling
jasmine or long grain rice, cooked according to package  (I used 10 minute rice, but jasmine is far superior!)

Make sure all of your ingredients are prepped before moving to the next step! You will not have time to do it once you get started!

In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, cornstarch, garlic, and ginger. Add sliced meat to bowl and toss with hands. Set aside.

Heat oil in a heavy skillet (iron is best) or wok over high heat (make sure you have a lid handy… I use my large wooden cutting board). Add broccoli and stir for 45 seconds. Add 1 tablespoon of water and cover the skillet immediately. Let sit 1 minute to steam broccoli. Remove to a separate plate. Set aside both the broccoli and the lid.

Allow pan to get very hot again. With tongs, add half the meat mixture (or enough to cover the bottom of the pan, but leaving some open spaces), leaving most of the marinade still in the bowl. Add half the scallions. Spread out meat as you add it to pan, but do not stir for a good minute. (You want the meat to get as brown as possible in as short amount a time as possible.) Turn meat to the other side and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove to a clean plate.

Repeat with other half of meat, allowing pan to get very hot again first. (My skillet was small enough such that I needed to cook the meat in four batches.) After turning it, add the first plateful of meat, the rest of the marinade, and the broccoli. Stir over high heat for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Check seasonings and add salt only if it needs it. Mixture will thicken as it sits.

Serve immediately over rice. Sprinkle crushed red pepper over the top to give it some spice.

Make sure those veggies are prepped!

Do watch how much meat you put in the pan and take the time to do extra batches if necessary (including for the broccoli). Do make sure your skillet is HOT. I have a strange aversion to putting my burners on high, but I highly recommend that you follow those instructions for this recipe. You will be rewarded.

This meal comes together incredibly quickly. The longest part? Cooking the rice. So, yes, I will make this one again. Bender ate a whole bowl of it, and you’ll love his very political vote! I'm just not going to expect him to eat it ever again.

And the leftovers: I ate them cold for breakfast two mornings, and they were great! 

While-this-meal-was-made-very-well-I-don’t-care-for-soy-sauce-based-dishes: 1 vote
Make-again-price-be-darned: 1 vote

Thank you, Pioneer Woman, for giving me the recipe to satisfy my cravings!
To see if Tabitha swooned over her version, Beef with Sugar Snap Peas, head on over to Double the Garlic!


  1. Yay, for a meal that both of us like a lot! Bender liking it too makes it all the more impressive. I bet it would be good with both broccoli and sugar snap peas together!

  2. Eh, like is a strong word. He tolerated it this once. But yes, I'll be making this one again for me. He can have peanut butter sandwiches!

  3. Hi Melanie - It's so nice to meet you. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. I love beef and broccoli and am looking forward to trying your recipe.


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