Thursday, March 1, 2012

Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

For this skirt steak chaser, beef is back on the menu!
I don't think I've used it in a recipe in three blogging years. 99c only Stores used to sell frozen 3 - 5 ounce super-thin beef steaks. Now a local chain grocery, Albertsons, is stocking 3 ounce, $1 Ribeye fillets in the frozen deli case. It is just the right amount for my delicious Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry.

One dollar is close enough to my price point for indulging in this bovine's most tender of cuts. Boy, how I like ribeye -- it's my favorite for grilling, and it has the right amount of marbling for sauteing. The only thing missing from these cheap packaged fillets is the bone for gnawing.

Now, three ounces for a dollar...that equals just over $5 per pound. Not the best deal, but an indulgence. I prefer to cook with a small fillet, and it's even cheaper that way. You can always buy one normal sized steak and cut it up, but the temptation is too great  -- if you are like me, you will end up eating the whole friggin' thing! I bought a few filets to freeze, so keep checking back for more budget beef entrees from this loin lover.

A cheaper way to use expensive beef is to wait until a cheaper cut is on sale. At another local chain grocery store, Ralphs, tri-tips of beef were recently priced for $2.97 per pound. It's packaged as a large 3-4 pound slab of meat -- so to get the best value, you need to break it down into single serving sizes. That way it's even cheaper than the $1 filets of ribeye steaks I found! Tri-tip is not as tender as ribeye, but it works well in a stir fry.

Well, that's my beef about beef.

I think you will like this quick and tasty Chinese restaurant classic. (My wife made it the other day and raved about it.) And if you want an entree low in carbs, then this recipe is for you.

Broccoli is always on sale. It just needs a quick 5-minute steam before you add it to sauteing beef. The stir fry sauce is made of a little chopped garlic, Oyster Sauce and Soy Sauce -- pretty simple, but very flavorful.

Ingredients for Stir Fry (1 to 2 servings)
  • 3 ounces of beef - tri-tips are a cheap cut. I got a $1 ribeye steak. Cut into bite sized strips. You can add more meat to appease your appetite.
  • 2 cups of broccoli - chop and peel some of the stem. Break broccoli into smaller florets.
  • 1/2 cup of water - to steam broccoli.

Stir Fry Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Oyster Sauce
  • 1 tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, chopped - fresh or from jar, optional.

Marinade for Beef
  • 1 tablespoon Oyster Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Corn Starch  - okay to substitute with flour.
  • Pepper to taste - Soy Sauce has plenty of salt.
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil - for sauteing beef.

Mix marinade for beef in a small bowl. Slice beef into strips and add to marinade.

Mix Stir Fry Sauce into another small bowl.

While beef marinates, break and slice broccoli, with the stem, into smaller pieces. I chop off the stem and peel some of it so heat will get in and tenderize. I break and slice bigger florets into smaller sizes.

Add 1/2 cup of water to a wok, or frying pan, and bring to a low simmer. Add broccoli and cover. (Okay to steam broccoli any way you like it.) Cook for about 3-5 minutes until broccoli is tender, but still has some crunch. When done, drain off the liquid (or, reserve to make more Stir Fry Sauce - see Hindsight below) and set aside broccoli.

Put wok back on stove-top over a medium heat. Heat pan until damp wok is dry. Add a tablespoon of cooking oil. Swirl oil to coat bottom of the pan. Add beef and marinating liquid.

Cook one side of the beef about 3 - 5 minutes until almost done. Turn the beef over, then pour in the Stir Fry Sauce.

Mix well and bring to a low simmer, until it is hot. Add cooked broccoli. Mix and heat through another couple of minutes.

Serve hot over brown or white rice, or cheap cooked (and drained) ramen noodles. It's also good on its own.

You can substitute beef with less expensive pork or chicken (white or dark meat.) Just remove pork from the bone and cut into bite-sized pieces -- for chicken you can remove from the bone, or in the case of chicken thighs or legs, just saute them whole (will take longer to cook through, add about 10 minutes more.) May need to add a little of the reserved broccoli water broth as liquid cooks out.

If you want more sauce for the rice, just reserve a 1/4 cup of the water you used for steaming (it's now a veggie broth.) When broth cools down some, add a tablespoon of cornstarch (or flour) and whisk to dissolve -- then add a teaspoon of Soy Sauce and 2 tablespoons of Oyster Sauce. Mix well. Add this extra sauce to the Stir Fry Sauce. Follow the rest of the directions. Sauce will thicken as it heats through.

If you are not a fan of broccoli, chunky sliced carrots (double the steaming time,) or even cauliflower, are delicious substitutions. Almost any veggie you like will do as well (spinach, asparagus, bell pepper, etc.) - alone or combined.


twinkletoe said...

Yummers - looks delicious!!

Crystal said...

Oh my! This looks wonderful. We love Chinese food but I'm always worried about all the additives and what is really in there. This is my son's favorite and now I can try this at home. Thank you so much!

Unknown said...

Wow, this look great. Let me say... i don't like broccoli, but I do really like the meat and this is a nice way for eating a little beat of vegetables. And I don't mind to eat the broccoli while it's with the meat. So you have made a good action. I will start to eat vegetables thanks to you. It remembers me when I was in Buenos Aires, that the peolpe used to eat meat everywhere at anytime. Is like the city of the meat and you can eat it whatever you want. Is like a dream. I eat a lot, not just meat. I eat a lot of chocolat also. I have worked with some apartments in buenos aires. And it was a very nice place. You can live very good. And also if you want to go on vacations.

Unknown said...

This recipe is SO good! My husband is a chinese snob because he lived in Taiwan for 2 years and he thinks it tastes just like a good chinese restaurant.

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