Beef and Broccoli

 

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Ever once in awhile, I have a craving for   beef and broccoli, and lately most restaurants are not delivering the high quality food they use too and I have been disappointed that many  restaurants dishes do not live up to my expectations.

The secret to home made beef and broccoli is thinly sliced beef and flavor. In this recipe, the tender, thin slices of beef are so juicy, so flavorful as they soak up every savory essence of the marinade, and then the sauce; which is rich, slightly sweet, mostly savory, and just so right!  Are you ready for the  two secret ingredients that makes such a scrumptious sauce?

Oyster sauce and pomegranate juice. Surprised?

If you have done a lot of Asian style cooking,  then you probably know that it  is a staple in Asian cooking.  It is a thick, brown sauce with a balance between sweet and salty with an earthy undertone, due to the oyster extracts.  You can find oyster sauce in the Asian aisle of any supermarket for only a few dollars. But like with any commercial preparation,  not all bottled  oyster sauce is created equal.  The quality of oyster sauce will affect the flavor, so if you want the extra something something to your dish, purchase a good quality good quality sauce for a few dollars more and keep it on hand in your pantry.

Pomegranate juice adds a little musky citrus taste with a depth of flavor you  usually associate with red wine or concentrated beef drippings.This makes the flavor of pomegranates invaluable anywhere you want to add a little depth or complexity.

 And be warned, guard the leftovers, if there are any,  this recipe for Beef and Broccoli will leave you craving more!

Serves 4
Ingredients:
For the Beef Marinade:
1 pound flank steak, cut across the grain into 1/8 thin slices, then cut into 2” length pieces
1 Tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 Tablespoon black bean sauce
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon Sweet Thai chili sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
For the Sauce:
½ cup 100% pomegranate juice
1/4 cup Tablespoons honey
1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 lime, juiced
1/2 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon Japanese rice wine or dry sherry
2 Tablespoons chicken broth
5 Tablespoons oyster sauce
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
6 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon ginger, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon peanut oil
For the Vegetables:
3 1/2 – 4 cups broccoli florets, cut into bit size pieces
1/2 cup julienned carrots
1/4 cup water
3 medium scallions, sliced

Directions:
Pour marinade ingredients directly into freezer bag and mix well. Add beef and massage in marinade until well covered. Refrigerate for 2-8 hours. For best results, allow to set overnight.

When ready to cook the beef, whisk the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.In another medium  bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients together. Set aside.

Drain excess marinade off of beef (if there is any).

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat until very hot and sizzling. Add beef to the skillet and break up any clumps; cook without stirring for 1 minute, then stir and cook until beef is browned and almost cooked through, about 1-2 minutes. Note:  Do not overcook or the beef. for it will not  be as tender.The beef will cook more in the sauce. Transfer beef to a large plate and cover.If your skillet is small, then cook in 2 batches.

Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil to the now-empty skillet; heat until very hot and sizzling. Add the broccoli  and carrots and saute for 30 seconds. Add water, cover pan, and lower heat to medium. Steam vegetables  until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes.

Push the broccoli  and carrots to the sides of the skillet and add the sauce mixture to the center of the pan, mashing the garlic mixture with a spoon, until fragrant, about 15 to 20 seconds, then stir the mixture into the broccoli and carrots.

Return the beef to the skillet and toss to combine. Whisk the sauce to recombine then add to the skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thickened and beef is cooked through, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, sprinkle with the scallions, and serve.

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TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor


Pork Belly Baos

Did you know that Pork belly is the source of the much-loved bacon most people love to eat in Western countries, but it has been a staple in Asian countries for centuries?

This is my version of the most delicious Pork Belly Baos you will ever experience. It is sweet, savory, and spicy and is a fusion of cultures: starting with the pork belly, a Vietnamese caramel braising sauce, Chinese steamed buns,  Korean pickled bamboo shoots, and Japanese pickles. This common street food is elevated by the combination of flavors or textures.Exceptional food takes time to prepare, especially certain cuts of eat and this recipe is no exception. There are no short cuts in producing slow-cooked pork belly, which is sliced and simmered in a sweet-savory caramel sauce and sandwiched between soft, pillowy steamed buns. But it doesn’t stop there – a hit of spice comes from fresh chilies, green onions, pickled bamboo shoots and Japanese pickles, that tops off this amazing sandwich.A perfect pick me up snack that reminds me of sliders, and they will definitely please a crowd every time you serve them.

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Makes 20 Baos

FOR THE PORK BELLY
1 slab pork belly (about 2 pounds)
1 tablespoon cooking oil
2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1 fresh serrano chili pepper, minced
1 green onion, chopped
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup water

1. Preheat oven to 275F. Wrap the pork belly in heavy tin foil. Place on baking sheet and roast for 2 hours. Remove from oven and let cool before refrigerating at least 2 hour or up to 2 days.

2. Unwrap the pork belly, and slice into 1/2″ pieces.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, rice vinegar, fish sauce, soy sauce and water.

4. Heat a wok or large saute pan over high heat. When hot, swirl in cooking oil and add several slices to the wok, but do not overlap. Fry each side until browned. Remove to plate. Repeat with remaining pork belly slices.

5. Turn the heat to medium-low. Add in the garlic, ginger, chiles and green onion. Saute for 30 seconds until fragrant. Pour in the remaining caramel sauce into the pan.Return the pork belly slices back into the wok and let simmer for 10 minutes.

 FOR THE CHILI SAUCE
1 stalk green onion, minced
1 fresh serrano chili, minced or sliced very thinly
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cooking oil
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 jar Pickled bamboo shoots
1 jarJapanese  pickles (Kyuri asazuke)
hoisin sauce

Place the green onion, chili, vinegar and salt in a small heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cooking oil until smoking, remove from heat and immediately pour on top of the green onion mixture. Cook with caution: the oil will bubble and crackle while adding the chili sauce mixture.

FOR THE BUNS:
Makes 20 Buns

2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour for dusting work surface
2 cans Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuit dough
1/4 cup canola oil
20 parchment squares (about 4×4-inch)

1. Dust work surface with the flour. Open the can of dough. There are 10 biscuits in each can. Separate out the biscuits. Keep the dough covered loosely with plastic wrap or towel. Roll each biscuit into an oval and fold in half.Lightly brush some cooking oil on the bottom of the buns Place on parchment square. Keep covered until ready to steam. Repeat the process with the second can of dough.

2. Prepare steamer. Place five to six buns on a heat proof plate.You will need to steam the buns in batches, to avoid overcrowding the plate while steaming and preventing the buns from sticking to each other.Steam the buns for 12 minutes.

To serve, carefully open each bun, spread a bit of hoisin sauce in the bun. Add a slice of pork belly and top with the chili sauce,a bit of the bamboo shoots and three Japanese pickles.