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We skipped takeout and made this recipe instead, and it did not disappoint!

Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli: A Flavorful and Convenient Delight

Introduction

There’s something magical about coming home to the smell of dinner already cooked – it’s like the culinary equivalent of a warm hug! That’s where my Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli steps into the spotlight. This dish is inspired by the traditional Chinese stir-fry that many of us order when we’re craving takeout. But let’s be real, life’s hustle doesn’t always allow for the leisure of whipping up stir-fry on a whim. So why not make this delightful combo of tender beef and vibrant broccoli at home with the convenience of a slow cooker? It’s a weeknight lifesaver, packed with flavor, and let me tell you, your slow cooker is about to earn its keep!

I love serving this Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli over a bed of fluffy white rice – it’s classic and always hits the spot. But, for those looking to keep it low carb, it’s just as delicious over cauliflower rice or even zucchini noodles for a veggie-packed twist. And if you’re feeling extra, toss a sprinkle of sesame seeds on top with a few sliced green onions for that restaurant-finish flair.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds beef chuck roast, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • Cooked white rice, for serving
  • Optional garnish: toasted sesame seeds and sliced green onions

Directions

Step 1: Prepare the Beef

Place your thinly sliced beef in the bottom of the slow cooker.

Step 2: Make the Sauce

In a bowl, whisk together beef broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and sesame oil until well combined. Pour this mixture over the beef in the slow cooker.

Step 3: Slow Cook the Beef

Cover and cook on low for about 4 hours, or until the beef is cooked through and tender.

Step 4: Thicken the Sauce

About 30 minutes before serving, whisk together cornstarch and water in a small bowl until the cornstarch is dissolved. Stir this mixture into the slow cooker to help thicken the sauce.

Step 5: Add the Broccoli

Add the broccoli florets on top of the beef and sauce. Cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes on low, or until the broccoli is cooked to your preferred tenderness.

Step 6: Serve and Garnish

Serve over white rice and garnish with sesame seeds and green onions if desired.

Variations & Tips

Time-Saving Tip

  • Frozen Broccoli: Use frozen broccoli florets to skip the chopping, and add them right into the slow cooker.

Sweetness Adjustments

  • Adjust Brown Sugar: If you like it a tad sweeter, feel free to adjust the brown sugar to taste. Conversely, for a less sweet version, start with less sugar and add more if it’s needed.
See also  Italian Chicken Pasta

Protein Variations

  • Alternative Cuts: Although I prefer beef chuck roast for its tenderness, you can also use flank steak or even pre-cut stir-fry beef to save some prep time.

Spice it Up

  • Add Heat: A drizzle of sriracha or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes can add a lovely warm zing to the dish for those who like a bit of heat.

Veggies Galore

  • Swap Vegetables: Not a broccoli fan? Swap it out for snap peas, bell peppers, or baby carrots for an equally scrumptious veggie experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use a different type of meat?

Yes, you can use other cuts of beef such as flank steak or even try chicken or pork for a different twist. Adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure the meat is tender and cooked through.

How do I store leftovers?

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove until warmed through.

Can I freeze this dish?

Yes, you can freeze Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli. Allow the dish to cool completely, then transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

What can I serve this with besides rice?

Besides white rice, you can serve this dish with cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles, quinoa, or even mashed potatoes for a hearty alternative.

How do I adjust the thickness of the sauce?

If the sauce is too thin, add a bit more cornstarch mixed with water to thicken it. If it’s too thick, you can thin it out with additional beef broth.

Can I cook this on high?

Yes, you can cook this on high for 2-3 hours instead of on low for 4 hours. The results should be similar, though the beef may be slightly less tender than with the low-and-slow method.

Are there any low-sodium alternatives?

Yes, you can use low sodium soy sauce and low sodium beef broth to reduce the overall sodium content of the dish.

What if I don’t have sesame oil?

If you don’t have sesame oil, you can substitute with olive oil or leave it out altogether. However, sesame oil adds a distinctive flavor that enhances the dish.

Conclusion

Nothing wins the evening like a thought-out meal that practically cooked itself while you were conquering the day. This Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli is a testament to set-it-and-forget-it magic, perfect for anyone wanting to dine well amidst a busy schedule. With its rich, savory flavors and tender beef, this dish is sure to become a favorite in your household. So, embrace the convenience of your slow cooker and relish the extra time you’ve just reclaimed! Happy cooking!