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Crockpot Beef and Broccoli

Crockpot beef and broccoli is guaranteed to become a family favorite you will make again, and again because it’s SO good and SO easy! It takes less than 15 minutes to prep, is made with pantry friendly ingredients, is healthier than takeout, reheats like a dream, is wonderfully versatile – and the SAUCE! The buttery tender beef cooks low and slow in a dynamic, savory, salty, soy, ginger, garlic sauce infused with toasted sesame oil and chili sauce that is so intoxicatingly delicious you will be licking the crockpot – or strongly tempted to. The rich, umami sauce is complimented by crisp-tender broccoli that cook directly in the slow cooker and a big bowl of hot steaming rice (or go low carb with cauliflower rice). You can even add homemade egg rolls, crab rangoons, and cream cheese wontons for a complete Chinese feast!
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Asian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings 4 -6 servings

Ingredients

Beef and broccoli

  • 2 lbs. top sirloin steak sliced into very thin 2” strips
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups (12 oz.) broccoli florets chopped into bite size pieces

Sauce

Instructions

  • While the beef slices are still on the cutting board, pat dry and toss with ½ teaspoon salt; set aside.
  • Add all of the sauce ingredients to the slow cooker and whisk until the cornstarch dissolves. Add the beef and stir to combine. Cover and cook on LOW for 3-4 hours, until the meat is very tender.
  • Once the beef is tender, you can thicken the sauce more on the stove (recommended), or leave it alone. Using an oven mitt, tilt the slow cooker to the side and ladle out as much sauce as possible into a saucepan; set aside. Add broccoli to the top of the beef in the slow cooker and cover (don’t stir in, we want the broccoli to steam). Cook for 20-30 additional minutes or until the broccoli reaches desired crisp-tenderness.
  • Towards the end of the 20 minutes, simmer the sauce on the stove until quite thick. You want it thicker than the final desired consistency because it will thin when combined with the broccoli in the slow cooker. Transfer thickened sauce to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Serve with rice and garnish with sesame seeds and green onions if desired.

Notes

Tips and Tricks

  • Slice steak thinly.  Place the steak in the freezer 30 minutes before cutting. This will help you cut it thinly. 
  • Oyster sauce substitute. If you’re allergic to shellfish, use LEE KUM KEE Vegetarian Stir-Fry Sauce instead of oyster sauce.
  • Use rice wine and NOT rice wine vinegar.  Rice wine is NOT rice vinegar- DO NOT switch them out.  I use “Kikkoman Aji-Mirin: Sweet Cooking Rice Seasoning” which is commonly found in the Asian section of most grocery stores or you can Amazon it.  I highly suggest you google image before you head off to the grocery store so you know exactly what you are looking for.  The best substitute for rice wine is pale dry sherry.
  • Use quality ingredients. Use QUALITY oyster sauce like Lee Kum Kee or Kikkoman is essential because you can TASTE the difference!
  • Steamed broccoli.  Instead of adding broccoli directly to the crockpot, you can add the broccoli to a microwave safe bowl. Fill the bowl with water to about 1/8-inch up the sides. Cover and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes or until the broccoli is crisp-tender.
  • Swap veggies.  You can substitute the broccoli with your other favorite veggies or you can swap some of the broccoli with other veggies.  Most vegetables, aside from carrots) will only need 20-30 minutes in the crockpot. 
  • Simmering the sauce is optional.   The sauce will be slightly thickened after the beef is cooked but will thin once you add the broccoli.  You can choose to add the broccoli and not thicken the sauce any more on the stove, or if you prefer a luxuriously thick sauce, you’ll need to thicken it on the stove.  
  • Don’t overcook broccoli.  Take care not to over-cook the broccoli.  It should be crisp-tender like in a stir fry and not tender-crisp.   
  • Cook beef for long enough. If your beef isn't super tender, it just needs more cooking time. Even 30 minutes can make a huge difference, so be patient, and cook on!

HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT 

This crockpot beef and broccoli reheats wonderfully for lunches or dinners, just take care to not overcook the broccoli initially.
  • How to store:  store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • How to reheat in microwave: transfer small portions to a microwave safe dish, heat for one minute, stir then continue to heat at 30 second intervals.
  • How to reheat on the stove: for larger portions, rewarm gently in a large skillet, stirring often.