July 16, 2011
The first broccoli from this year's garden was ready to harvest last weekend, and since then, we've been eating lots of garden-fresh broccoli. I decided to start off by brushing one of my old-standby recipes, Spicy Ginger Beef with Broccoli, and ended up further fine-tuning the recipe, using stuff I've learned over the past year of cooking to make an already-great recipe even better.
I also used a bunch of the hot peppers we've been growing. We're getting a bunch of ripe ones now.
I made a really large batch (about 12 servings total), but the revised recipe, below, reflects the standard (already large) batch. Either gives you a lot of good leftovers, and this dish freezes really well. The broccoli does get a bit soggy when reheating, but the flavor is great. Don't freeze the chow mein noodles, though. Just add them after reheating.
Spicy Ginger Beef with Broccoli
yield = 8 servings
2 pounds beef (steak or stew), thinly sliced
2-4 red chili peppers, seeded and minced
1 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/3 cup light soy sauce
2 1/2-3 pounds broccoli florets
1 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 1/2-2 tablespoons peeled, diced ginger
2 cans sliced water chestnuts, 1 drained, 1 undrained
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons corn starch dissolved in 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken
broth, or water
Mix sliced beef with ground mustard, ground ginger, black pepper, chili peppers, garlic, 1 teaspoon sesame oil and soy sauce in a bowl or Ziploc bag. Cover bowl/close bag and marinate at least two hours, preferably eight or more hours or overnight.
Steam broccoli until it is almost done; remove from heat.
Add peanut oil and 1 teaspoon sesame oil to wok, large skillet or Dutch oven. Heat the oil over medium heat. When hot, add the ginger and fry it, stirring often, until it is just starting to darken.
Add the beef and marinade mixture. Stir-fry until the beef is nearly browned, then add water chestnuts, including the liquid from one of the cans. Stir fry for a couple more minutes, then add oyster sauce and corn starch/broth (or water) mixture. Stir until the liquid thickens. Add the broccoli, stir to mix.
Serve over rice, topped with chow mein noodles.
1. The best way to slice the beef into nice, thin slices is to put it in the freezer for about 45 minutes before you're ready to prepare it. The beef will then be stiff enough to easily cut as thinly as you might desire.
2. I don't specify a cut of meat to use because I've found it honestly doesn't matter if you marinate it sufficiently. If I don't have time to let it marinate a long time, I tend to use sirloin, but round tip steak, chuck steak and stew beef work just fine.
3. How many chili peppers one should use for this recipe depends on the heat of the peppers and personal taste. That being said, the purpose of the peppers in this recipe is to add some heat, but they shouldn't overwhelm the other flavors. I've gotten the best results from cayenne, serrano and red Thai peppers. If you like things spicier, don't seed the peppers.