you thought I forgot

The following was started last Thursday, and it’s taken until today to get my act together and finish it ~ but I liked it so much, I wanted to leave the post in tact.  So, here it is, a (few) day(s) late, but hopefully not a dollar (or anything else!) short!

October 27, 2011

Today is gray out, and it doesn’t help that I have felt utterly exhausted since I pulled myself out of bed this morning.  I’m not sure why ~ I mean, I did get about 45 minutes less sleep, but it boggles my mind that such a small amount could affect me so significantly this morning.  (And so far … this whole day).

Last night we popped a bottle of bubbles to celebrate Miss Parker’s first WeHangsDay at the man and my abode ~ we served ribs and Hickory Smoke Cheese Loaf (a specialty of my Mama Bear)  with a wedge salad a la the man.  The last time he made one was for my annual Oscar dinner two years ago, so it was a nice change up from my staple of arugula with olive oil, lemon juice and parmesan.

But that’s not what I’m gonna yap about today.

I figured it was high time to set down how I learned to make Beef & Broccoli. Since the recipe is a little bit unique, I’ll preface it by saying the following:

1.  If you need measurements, and don’t feel comfortable winging it, don’t make this recipe.

2.  It requires a little prep before hand, so read the recipe, do the prep, and then plan the dinner for when you have all the ingredients on hand.  Not usually the way I roll (*picture a woman in business casual clothes frantically speed-walking up and down grocery store aisles and maniacally checking her watch to make sure she will get home before her guests and get enough prep done that the whole dinner party isn’t a disaster occurring after 10pm* … and you have some idea of how my weeknight dinner with friends evenings go).

So, with that being said ~ here I go!

 

First:

1.  You need to create one of the ingredients by combining sliced jalepeno peppers in a jar with red wine vinegar.  I have a jam jar that I cleaned out and ran through the dishwasher.  Grab three to five jalepeno peppers (depending on size), slice them and put them in the jar.  Fill up with red wine vinegar.  This needs to sit for at the very least, a few days.

 

Day Of: What You Need ~

1 London Broil

1 large head of broccoli (washed and broken into smaller bite-size pieces)

Cornstarch

Soy sauce

Fish Sauce (You can find this is Asian Food shops, and some higher end grocery stores)

Water

Jalepeno/Red Wine Vinegar combo

Vegetable Oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

**Optional: Dash of Sugar

What to do:

1.  First, get a big cutting board, and a big, sharp knife to cut the London Broil.  You want to cut on a diagonal, and almost shave the meat (if you’ve ever had Chinese food, you should have an idea of what it should look like visually ~ let that guide you).  As you cut the meat, put it in a large sautee pan (my pan almost looks as big as a wok~ so choose your biggest, and one that allows you to mix).

2.  Douse the meat liberally with soy sauce.  Add approximately 1/4 cup of cornstarch, 1/4 cup veggie oil, and then enough water that it is about 1 1/2 inch from the top of the meat.  Begin cooking on  medium to medium high heat, stirring frequently.

3.  When the meat appears to be cooked through, transfer to large mixing bowl, sauce and all.

4.  Turn the heat up to high.  Add your minced garlic cloves and a few tablespoons of water.  You want to fry and steam your broccoli at the same time, so it’s a delicate balance of the sizzling garlic, about a tbsp of oil, and enough water to steam the veggies.  When the pan is hissing and popping, add your broccoli.  Cook to the consistency you like (less time = crunchier, obv ~ everything after that is personal taste!).

5.  Add meat mixture back in, and after it bubbles for a split second, lower the heat to medium.  At this point, stir in about a tbsp (or two) of fish sauce and then a tbsp or two of the jalepeno infused red wine vinegar.

6.  Taste test.  If it’s too sour, bitey or makes you pucker, add a dash of sugar, and keep tasting and adjusting using sugar until you get the taste you like.

7.  Serve over rice.  (I don’t like rice, and never make it, so I have no idea how to make rice, but I do know that Angie brought a rice cooker, and it seemed to be easy peesy.  She said you should start the rice cooker, and by the time the beef and broccoli are done, the rice should be done, too! Neat timing, right?).

Post Script: I brought this to work, and enjoyed it for several days.  It was yum yum delish.  I’m looking forward to trying it all on my own some day ~ I’ll let you know how my solo mission goes if you let me know how your attempts turn out!

Post Post Script: Angie learned this recipe from her mama, and said that it used to infuriate people that no real recipe existed.  But I think that’s what makes it fun.  So if you love Chinese food, take a little leap of faith, and try it out.  The more you do it, the better you’ll be able to adjust and know what works and what doesn’t.  That’s how Angie learned it. 🙂

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