Wednesday, July 22, 2015

RECIPE WEDNESDAY - Crock Pot Broccoli Beef

A couple weeks ago I tried the Crockpot Broccoli Beef recipe from Just A Pinch that I found on Pinterest. While I need to make some adjustments to this recipe, I did like the concept over all. For one, I could not get the sauce to thicken up until I'd separate the juice from the rest of the goodies. However, by the time I'd made that move, everything was cooked too much. I also don't think the beef needs to cook as long (6-8 hrs on low) since I sliced mine much thinner. I could do this in 4 hours easy.

Here's what we started with:

This chuck roast was just under #2. I keep chuck/ pot roasts on hand as pot roast is one of Bob's favorite meals.. and very easy for me to do on a busy office day. 

One thing to keep in mind when slicing any meat. Always cut across the grain. If you cut with the grain, you are going to wind up with long pieces hard to chew. Here's an example:

Notice the piece on the right is cut with the grain. Long strips that will be difficult to bite unless you cook them beyond recognition. The slices on the right were cut cross-grain. These pieces will be tender. If you are not sure how a grain is running, cut a slice and see. Then you can rotate the cut if necessary and slice the other direction.  

This is what I wound up with:

In the crockpot with the recommended additions (see recipe at Just A Pinch).

As I said, slicing thin would have given me a cooking time of 4 hours before adding the broccoli. I'm also thinking next time I will quick steam the broccoli while I'm thickening the sauce then toss everything together. I realize this kind of defeats the purpose of the whole crock pot thing but keep in mind, the meat cooking in the juice will be very flavorful and slowcooking meat is usually the best way to get a tender morsel. Making the sauce and steaming the broccoli only takes five minutes at best and if you are serving over rice, you are going to take time to cook that anyway... so no real time inconvenience at all to do this in layers.

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