Killer Broccoli Beef

While the original recipe is credited to Martha Stewart’s website, I acquired my instructions from my mother, who, like me, doesn’t measure when she cooks. This drives the measurers crazy. They want to know how much of this and what amount of that goes into any dish. The concept of “to taste” eludes them.

In any case, the ingredients for broccoli beef are:

Thin beef, such as fajita beef (pre-cut) or thin steaks – flank steak or bottom round – cut into strips
Soy sauce (we use the low sodium kind)
Brown sugar
Powdered ginger
Fresh ginger root
Red wine (I used Bonny Doon’s Big House Red, but whatever you like will work, though zinfandel is probably too sweet, and chianti a bit too dry. Merlot, cabernet sauvignon, syrah, shiraz, and generic table wine are all good choices.)

Soy Sauce
Brown Sugar
Red Wine
Powdered Ginger

I used bottom round and used kitchen shears to cut it into strips.

You need enough to cover the meat when you toss it all into a bowl. More wine gives you a sweeter flavor, more soy gives you a darker tone. Use enough brown sugar to sort of give the hint of a teriyaki flavor without being entirely teriyaki sweet.

Marinate the meat at least four hours, overnight is better, in the fridge.

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Chop celery, fresh ginger, and scallions.
Divide broccoli into bite-size pieces and discard excess stem if you’re like me, and anti-stem (I buy crowns, so I have minimum stem to begin with.)

Heat a deep frying pan with a splash of olive oil. When the oil is hot, use a slotted spoon to transfer the meat from the marinade into the hot pan. DO NOT TOSS THE MARINADE. You will need it later.

Brown the beef, then transfer it to an empty dish.

Add the vegetables and all of the marinade to the pan, let it all get hot, then let it simmer on lo for about ten minutes.
Return the meat to the pan, stir well, cover, and simmer for 20-60 minutes (depending on how done you like your meat).
Stir occasionally.

Serve over steamed rice (I recommend starting the rice cooker at the same time you put the cover on for the final simmering stage), noodles, or on its own.

Goes well with dark beer, red wine, and saki.
DOES NOT go well with anything citrus flavored as the flavors will clash, and the marinade will taste bitter.

No, I have no idea of how much of anything beyond the fact that there were four bottom round steaks in the package, and I used about five stalks of celery. If you use more than a third of a bottle of soy sauce, that’s probably too much. I strongly recommend pouring a glass of wine to sip while you cook. It’s way more fun. Unless you’re hopped up on cold meds as I was.

Adding carrots or serving steamed baby carrots with butter and ginger on the side, would probably make this a more substantial meal.

If you are using ceramic pots, as I do, remember that low means LOW, and not HIGH, so that beef juice and sizzling marinade do not explode over your stove (thanks to Fuzzy for rescuing me when I should not have been cooking in the first place).

Overnight is the optimum length of marination. Especially if you’re using a tough cut of of beef.

Would probably work just fine with pork or chicken if those suit your fancy.

I used an entire finger of ginger root (based on one root being about a hand). Ginger needs a lot of cooking time, and should be diced. Imagine Severus Snape is watching you when you dice, and the size of the bits must please him. I also learned that it’s not the ginger that makes my tongue white out at Japanese restaurants, but the fact that it’s pickled. “Naked” ginger tastes just fine. Yellow onion (diced or chopped) works just fine if you forgot to buy scallions.


Inspired by, option One.

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I’ve never been one to set specific goals, as I don’t think that way. I have a few milestones I wish to hit – sell my book, write for a living, be the best version of myself that I can – but I’ve never believed in nickel-and-diming my resolutions. Still, over the years, I’ve had aspirations that I’ve achieved. Here are a few.

1) Dyed my hair pink. It’s been a year now. I’m a little bored with the pink, but it will remain for another 90 days at least.
2) Been to France. Still need to spend a month writing in Paris, but at least I’ve spent time in France. Others may have left their hearts in San Francisco, mine is somewhere in Languedoc.
3) Earned a living as a writer. It’s not fiction, but yes, I’m doing this now.
4) Communicating with family. I’ve been better about this, about letter writing, but I need to expand my reach a bit.
5) Household Organization: We still haven’t painted the kitchen. But we did finally decide on a color. Progress is being made.
6) Performing on Stage: I did improv for more than a year, and then my energy changed, and I started dreading it instead of enjoying it, and I’m still on semi-permanent hiatus.
7) Cooking at home more: Ask me about the killer broccoli beef I made the other night.

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This entry is proof that the act of writing that you have nothing to write about creates something to write about.


I’m in that mood where I have nothing to say, no words to sling, and the very thought of blogging makes my head ache. I know it will pass, that it’s just January doldrums and cold medicine, but at the moment, none of that matters.