Slow Cooker Broccoli Beef
A better than take-out recipe for broccoli beef made in the slow cooker! Made with thinly sliced flank steak and crunchy broccoli that’s perfect over a bed of rice. Let the slow cooker take care of dinner for you!
And i’m thinking the only thing that will cure it is a big bowl of broccoli beef made in the slow cooker that tastes just as good as your favorite Chinese restaurants take on it. At the risk of sounding like i’m tooting my own horn, I’m gonna say that my recipe is better than any take-out broccoli and beef you’ve ever had before.
This weekend was a whirlwind of activities. Anees and I entertained on Friday night, followed by a day full of errands on Saturday, out for dinner that night, and spent the Sunday with Anees’ family. With all of this going on, I needed an easy slow cooker recipe that would handle Sunday nights dinner for me.
Enter this most perfect broccoli beef recipe that requires barely any babysitting at all. Toss it into the slow cooker and just let it all cook up for you. I’m the biggest fan of slow cooker meals that actually taste good!
This is a recipe that had stumped me for quite some time. I’v been working on my beef with broccoli recipe off and on for almost 4 years now. And i’ve tried everything! I’ve made it on the stove. I’ve pre-fried the beef. I’ve made it in the slow cooker (over and over again). I’ve changed up the ingredients countless times. And until this time, it’s never been this perfect.
The secret to a really good beef broccoli recipe is oyster sauce. It’s soy sauce, sugar, salt and water sauce thickened with cornstarch that’s been flavored with oyster extract or essence (thank you wiki because I don’t know what I thought it was until now). A couple tablespoons and it boosts the flavor of the broccoli beef sauce by tenfold.
What’s your take on onions in beef and broccoli? Yay or nay? After trying it both ways, I like it better with the onions. It adds a nice little flavor to the sauce that can’t be mimicked. And you just know I love finding little petals of saucy onions hidden in between savory bites of beef and crunchy broccoli. If you’re not a fan of onions, feel free to leave it out. I do find that once they’ve cooked in the sauce they’re very mild.
So what goes into the sauce that flavors this whole thing? Other than the oyster sauce, the ingredients are really straight forward. All you need is a little beef broth, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, garlic, a little ground ginger, and brown sugar. I combine the ingredients in a measuring cup until the brown sugar dissolves and add it right in with the onions and sliced beef.
To keep the broccoli super bright and extra crunchy, I like to steam it in the microwave and add it in to the recipe just before serving. This allows the broccoli to keep it’s vivid green color and let’s face it, pretty food just tastes better, doesn’t it? I’m so not a fan of brown mushy broccoli. I eat with my eyes, if my eyes don’t like it, I don’t think i’ll even let it get to my stomach. Food snob? Why, yes. I think I am.
I served it with a little jasmine rice, but a bed of ramen or rice noodles would also be yummy. And did I mention that broccoli beef actually tastes better the next day? The refrigerator works it’s magic and leftovers are somehow better.
Also, it’s just 10 simple minutes of prep work? You likey, no?
- 1 ½ - 1 ¾ pound flank steak, sliced into 2 inch pieces
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 6 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- ½ - 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to preference)
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar
- 1 yellow onion, cut into 1 inch dice
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 pound broccoli florets
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- In a small bowl or a 2 cup measuring cup, combine the ingredients for the sauce - beef broth, garlic, oyster sauce, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, ground ginger, and brown sugar. Stir until the brown sugar dissolves.
- Spray a 5-8 quart slow cooker with cooking spray so the food doesn't stick. Add the sliced beef and diced onions in and pour the sauce over. Stir to combine. Allow the slow cooker to cook on the low heat setting for 4-5 hours or the high heat setting for 2-3 hours.
- About 35 minutes before the cooking time is up, combine ½ cup of the cooking liquid (from the slow cooker) and the cornstarch in a small bowl. Stir until the cornstarch dissolves. This will take a few minutes, be patient. It'll look like it's completely seized up but within 2-3 minutes it should dissolve completely. Add to the slow cooker and allow for the food to cook for the remaining 30 minutes.
- Just before serving: Place the broccoli florets in a shallow baking dish and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of water. Place in the microwave and cover with a plastic microwave cover. Zap for 1-2 minutes on high or until the broccoli turns bright green. Stir the broccoli into the slow cooker and drizzle with the sesame oil. Serve warm over a bed of jasmine rice.