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...
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).