Saturday, August 10, 2013

Restaurant Style Beef Broccoli (©Rainy Day Gal 2009-2013)

Beef broccoli is probably my favorite dish at a Chinese restaurant.  I make sure to order it whether we're eating at the restaurant or if we're doing take out.  The first beef broccoli pin I ever tried was a disaster.  I didn't have high hopes for this one, although I figured it had to turn out better than the last since it wasn't in a slow cooker.

Reading through the ingredients as I prepared to go on a grocery run, I was a bit shocked when I read that it uses cooking sherry.  Sherry in a Chinese dish?  This made it even more interesting.  I think my husband and I have cooked with sherry maybe once before.  I quickly did some research on cooking sherry before we looked for some and a lot of the feedback I read was to skip the "cooking" sherry and head to the wine aisle and go with something you'd drink.  We aren't fans of dessert wines and sherry is no exception. 

This homemade beef broccoli version comes from the lovely Jenny's blog, The Rainy Day Gal.  Jenny is a supermom; SAHM, writer, blogger, and cook who used to teach!  She lives in Seattle with her adorable family and she posts about food, her family, and her novel!  Yes, she's a published author!  Go check her out!

Her pictures are so detailed that there is no way that you could possibly mess this recipe up! Ingredients and directions as posted on her blog:

This easy version of the Chinese takeout classic requires only a short marinade to
make the beef fork tender. Serve over white or brown rice. Serves 4.
©Rainy Day Gal 2009-2013
Prep Time: 10 minutes + 1 hour for marinade
Cook Time: 8 minutes
First, marinate the meat:
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 lbs flank steak, sliced into thin strips
1. Whisk together the baking soda, sugar, cornstarch, soy sauce, water, and vegetable oil in 
a large bowl. Toss the steak with the marinade to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour, 
then proceed below.
1/2 c low sodium soy sauce (Do NOT use regular.  The final product will be way too salty)
2 tbsp brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp sherry
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 heads broccoli, crowns only
1. In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, flour and sherry until smooth. Set aside.
2. In a large wok or saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil over high heat 
until shimmering. Add broccoli and saute 3 minutes, stirring often. Transfer broccoli to a plate.
3. Reduce heat to medium high. Carefully add the remaining tablespoon of oil to
the hot pan. Add the marinated meat and half of the sauce mixture and saute for 3-4 minutes, 
stirring often, until the meat is cooked through and no longer pink. Stir in the broccoli and remaining 
sauce. Saute 1 minute more. Serve.

This is the sherry that we used and yes, I tried it.  Definitely not a fan.  The husband
describes it as "sweet whiskey".  Blech.
The one thing we did different from her instructions is marinading it for an hour.  We already had dinner planned the night we bought the steak, so we let it marinade over night.
As you can see, we did have quite a bit of beef (but we're not complaining) and it soaked up all of the marinade. 

We followed the instructions and before we could even plate it, we tasted a piece of beef because it was too tempted after smelling all of the aromas from the pan!

You  may notice that our sauce isn't quite as dark as on the blog.  We couldn't quite figure it out but didn't make a big deal of it.  This plate was actually put together by our oldest; she wanted "more beef than broccoli" but after eating it, she went back for more broccoli!


The verdict:  Beef? Tender.  Sauce?  Perfect (the low-sodium soy sauce was a great call by Jenny).  Dare I say it?  It was the best homemade beef broccoli.  Our daughter thought it was good enough to be from a restaurant!  Husband loved it and it is going into our recipe book!  Definitely try this one out!


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