Slow Cooker Broccoli Beef

Photo Credit: Chef Savvy

Crock pot meals are among the easiest recipes to get on the table because the crock pot does most of the work for you during the many hours of the day. Imagine, then, if you could also prepare your favorite Chinese takeout using a crock-pot method. This slow cooker broccoli beef recipe gives you a homemade version of the takeout you have been craving while being almost as easy as picking up the phone.

Stir-fry recipes, like broccoli beef, are usually very fast to prepare in a large wok, which leaves the broccoli bright green, but still crisp, and the beef is just cooked though so it isn’t tough. In the case of crock-pot recipes, though, a lengthy cooking time is required because the crock pot cooks the food low and slow. The long cooking time will braise the beef into a very tender, almost fall apart consistency, though, so you won’t have to be concerned about tough beef. The broccoli is added towards the end of the cooking time so that it doesn’t get overcooked and retains its quality nutrition. Traditionally in Asian stir-fry recipes, restaurants use the technique called velveting to tenderize meat. This process is more than likely applied to all your favorite takeout dishes and explains why the thinly sliced beef, chicken or pork in those dishes always remains tender. Velveting involves marinating the meat in a mixture of cornstarch, rice wine or rice wine vinegar, egg whites, water, sugar, and spices. The mixture coats the meat like a white paste, but when the meat is cooked, disappears completely. Similar to breading meat, the velveting process causes the meat to lock in their juices and remain tender in Asian recipes.

Beef and broccoli recipes aren’t as traditional in mainland China, but rather emerged amongst the Chinese American community and Chinese American restaurants. For one thing, broccoli isn’t used in China, since it is a southern European vegetable and isn’t cultivated in China. Chinese dishes would be more likely to use Chinese broccoli or gai-lan, which tastes similar to broccoli but is more bitter. Broccolini is a similar Japanese vegetable that is a hybrid between traditional broccoli and gai-lan because it has the florets of broccoli, but the long stems of gai-lan. If you have either Chinese broccoli or broccolini available to you, feel free to substitute the usual broccoli in this easy dinner recipe.

Nutrition Facts for: Slow Cooker Broccoli Beef from Chef Savvy

Ingredients: Chuck steak, beef broth, soy sauce, garlic cloves, oyster sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, cornstarch, broccoli.

* The entire recipe has been calculated for 6 servings.

* Percentages (%) are based on a 2000 calorie diet

* Per Serving:Calories 413, Calories from Fat 194, Total Fat 21.6g 33%, Saturated Fat 8.0g 40%, Cholesterol 160mg 53%, Sodium 235mg 10%, Potassium 441mg 13%, Carbohydrates 3.3g 1%, Dietary Fiber 0.1g 0%, Sugars 0.2g, Protein 47.9g, Vitamin A 0%, Vitamin C 2%, Calcium 3%, Iron 32%

If you are looking for healthy homemade meals to please the whole family, this beef and broccoli recipe is a healthier version of the takeout classic, because it uses low sodium beef broth and soy sauce. Despite Chinese restaurant’s high use of vegetables, the food is high in sodium, unfortunately, due to its use of fermented sauces, like soy sauce. High sodium will increase blood pressure and risk heart health, so using low sodium versions of ingredients will be a healthier choice without sacrificing on the flavor of your homemade meals. Thank you to Kelley, the author of ‘Chef Savvy’ recipe blog, for sharing her slow cooker broccoli beef recipe with us.

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