Friday, April 23, 2010

Slow Cooked Asian-style Shredded Beef

Ok, so this recipe deviates from the usual in 2 ways,
1. it involves beef!
2. it involves a crock-pot/slow-cooker!

It is, by the way, also delicious. I found it because I've been meaning to get more into the idea of slow cooking (previously seen here in the super easy chicken chili). One issue I've been having is that a lot of recipes cook for 4-6 or maybe 8 hours. Unfortunately, whatever kind of job it is that allows you to leave for work, get there, work, and get back in 6 hours, is not the job I have. So, I was searching for long-slow-cooked meals, and came up with this, from over at 'A Year of Slow Cooking').

Basically, I made some modifications- some of them are because I'm a slow-cooker newbie and didn't trust the idea that you could cook it all day with relatively little liquid in there and not end up with a burnt disaster when you got home. Here is my version...

The stuff:
2-2.5 pounds boneless beef*
1/4 cup low sodium free soy sauce
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
6 tablespoons ketchup (or, one giant squirt, if you're me)**
4-6 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons Chinese 5-spice powder (I used allspice)
3 teaspoons pre-minced garlic from a jar***
2-3 teaspoons crushed ginger, also from a jar***
3/4c water (this was added when I panicked about the volume of liquid)

optional: juice of one orange (also added when I realized I didn't have enough honey, and was still panicking about liquid. I do think it added something, and diluted the strong flavor of the allspice and hoisin)
optional: a bunch of scallions- half chopped and added during cooking, half chopped and added half hour before serving
optional: red pepper flakes

*caveat, I know jack about buying beef, so I'm not even sure what kind I bought (I picked based on whether it was on the Ralphs Club Special), but mine was possible a bit too fatty for my taste, so, go lean if you can- there is plenty of sauce to make it moist.
*ALSO- I froze my meat over night, so it would take longer to cook.
**FYI 2 tablespoons=1/8 cup, if that helps make measuring less boring
*** feel free to use fresh, but I was being lazy

Stir up all the sauce ingredients, pour over meat. Sprinkle on scallions and red pepper flakes. Set on low, and leave it be!

So, I arrived home, having gone to work, worked at work, worked out, and battled the L.A. traffic in 2 directions, so about 10 hours after I left. Let me tell you, it smelled pretty good! The meat immediately was shreddable and very tender and moist, there was also a LOT of sauce. I turned it on warm, and probably ended up eating it 12 hours after I started it so it completely met my uber-slow-cooker needs.

There are a couple of ways to serve this- first, you can put it over rice, I used brown rice. You can also incorporate cole-slaw mix or shredded cabbage in a couple ways- either by stirring it in and cooking it for the last little bit, or by serving the meat on top of the fresh cabbage which would be a low-carb version. I did a halfway version, serving it on top of a combo of brown rice and uncooked cabbage, and I liked it that way. By adding the extra liquid I made it a little more saucy, and immediately after taking this picture ended up having to transfer it to a bowl to avoid disaster (technically, I moved it to the bowl after one minor sauce disaster by me and one by my co-diner).
Anyhow, this was good- the flavor is good, the sauce was yummy, I liked the cabbage/rice combo, and I would totally make it again!


Leila :) said...

Aarrgh, hello there lassie! (I haven't been a birthday pirate for a long time so had to get it out of my system.)
I love your posts! I'm living in NZ now so right in the middle of summer, but still love my crock-pot meals! One is waiting for me as we speak!
I have an awesome one that you might like...if you like pumpkin pie which I've found produces a clear divide between the lovers and haters.
I was making Thanksgiving dinner and wanted to have non-Americans try pumpkin pie...but no canned pumpkin. So, I crock-potted it!

1 medium pumpkin (cut up and rind chopped/hacked off, nothing fancy)
1 can evaporated milk
spices-cinnamon, allspice, clove, nutmeg- a little palm full of each
half cup brown sugar
then set it to low for 4 hours til it's all soft- taste for spices and sweetness, adjust as needed
if you have a blender, then blend and serve in little cups with shortbread cookies, or even crumble them on top

Easy as bro! A NZ expression… as in “easy as (can be) bro”
Hope all’s well.
Keep up the good work! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, I love all these slow cooked ideas but not kean on the idea of low temp,settings. in my experience with the different brands of slow cookers the range of temperatures have been great, some people call 120oC
low temp others 160oC. so I would prefer Recipes to have Temp Guide. Regards J.C.

yellowfish said...

Thanks for the comment- I agree completely about the confusion between different temperature settings on different slow cookers... unfortunately, my slow cooker only has low/medium/high- it doesn't tell me what the temperature associated with each level is. I could measure the temperature of the meat when it finishes, but that just makes sure it cooks, it doesn't really help with the cooking time issue!


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