Monday, January 8, 2018

Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

It’s so interesting to look at how my cooking has evolved over the years, and as we’ve become a family of two then three then four. These days I am all about simplicity and leftovers. I still pride myself on making wholesome, delicious food, but I just don’t have the time for or interest in elaborate meal prep. Enter the recipe makeover. There are recipes the family has loved, but that have fallen out of favor because they’re just more labor intensive than I prefer. I’m finding ways of incorporating the elements we love while dramatically simplifying the prep.

Today’s case in point is the 2010 recipe for Bee-Bim Bop. So tasty and yet so fiddly to prepare all the bits separately. In addition, we really do not buy large cuts of meat often. I am much more apt to reach for high-quality ground beef, chicken or pork I can get at the farmers’ market, both because of the friendlier price tag for that high quality and better environmental report card, and because ground meat allows a little meat to go a long way. The Teriyaki Turkey and Ground Vegetables recipe (which I more often make with chicken since I can get that more easily at my market) calls for 1 pound of ground meat and feeds our family of four for three nights. The original bee-bim bop recipe calls for 1 pound of steak but it wouldn’t be satisfying to try to spread it over that many nights, but with ground beef instead and the same cooking method from the teriyaki turkey and ground vegetables it’s easy.

Soon I’m going to try an Indian version of the same concept with pork or chicken using the Indian-Spiced Simmer Sauce posted by 101 Cookbooks using some cashew cream to thin it out a bit. I have a feeling it will work super well and be a recipe I’m much more likely to turn to than Butter Chicken or Chicken Tikka Masala, great Instant Pot recipes for those notwithstanding.

Back to today’s recipe. I am taking the marinade from Bee-Bim Bop, stretching it out with some chicken stock and reducing the sugar quite a bit. After whisking that together, all I do is sauté some onion in oil, add ground beef, then stir in my ground veggies of choice, usually broccoli and/or cauliflower, carrots and sometimes peppers. Once the veg is steamed and tender, add the sauce and serve over rice. Sometimes I’ll cook up the omelette from the bee-bim bop recipe, chop and scatter that in, too. Cook once, eat three times and the family still has smiles at the repeats.

3/4 c. soy sauce, low sodium or regular ok
3/4 to 1 c. chicken stock (water might also work)
2-3 TBSP sugar
1/4 c. oil of choice
2 TBSP sesame oil
1/4 tsp black pepper

2 TBSP sesame seeds (optional)
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste (optional)

Veggie & Meat Mixture
1-2 TBSP oil
1/2 to 1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. ground beef
1-2 stalks broccoli, washed, peeled and cut into regular chunks
1/2 head cauliflower, cored, washed and cut into regular chunks
3-4 carrots, washed and cut into regular chunks
2-3 eggs made into an omelette with a dash of sesame oil and then rolled and sliced into strips (optional)


  1. Whisk together marinade ingredients in a small bowl and set aside
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil on medium-high then add the onion and sauté until soft
  3. Add the garlic and cook for a minute then add the ground beef. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the beef is cooked
  4. While the beef is cooking, put the first vegetable in the food processor and chop finely, then add to skillet when beef is cooked
  5. Repeat with remaining vegetables, stirring well after each addition
  6. Place a lid on the skillet and let the veggies steam for 5 minutes or so
  7. Remove lid, verify that vegetables are tender, and then add 2/3 to 3/4 of the sauce, stirring well
  8. Let the mixture cook for a minute or two to blend the flavors. Taste and adjust seasoning. You may need a bit more soy sauce or some salt or sesame oil
  9. Serve over rice or the grain of your choice, passing the extra sauce

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