When Chris and I spent a year living in “the burbs” recently one of my favorite places to eat definitely wasn’t fancy, far from it in fact. I really liked to drive over to EO Noodle on Route 9 in Framingham and stuff my face with a huge plate of Beef and Broccoli. Tender beef, crisp broccoli, perfectly steamed rice — who needs decor when your belly is full and the end of meal fortune cookie tells you that “your biggest dream will come true” … in bed (of course).
So I decided to attempt to recreate one of my favorite guilty pleasure meals at home. Like most Cooks Illustrated recipes it was more of a marathon than a sprint. I banged around in the kitchen for quite a while before I finally served up two dishes of food and promptly collapsed on the couch. It tasted good, but not EO Noodle “good.” On the upside I did get to use the super cute Chopsticks for Kids that Chris bought me last Christmas.
1/2 pound flank steak, cut into 2-inch-wide strips with the grain, then sliced across the grain into 1/8-inch-thick slices
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon low-sodium chicken broth
2 1/2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
3 medium cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press or minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, minced (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil
2/3 pound broccoli, florets cut into bite-size pieces, stems trimmed, peeled, and cut on diagonal into 1/8-inch-thick slices
3 tablespoons water
1/2 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 medium scallions, sliced 1/2-inch thick on diagonal
Note: I also cooked white rice to serve with the dish
Combine beef and soy sauce in medium bowl; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 10 minutes or up to 1 hour, stirring once. Meanwhile, whisk sherry, chicken broth, oyster sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and cornstarch in measuring cup. Combine garlic, ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon peanut oil in small bowl.
Drain beef and discard liquid. Heat 2 teaspoons peanut oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until smoking. Add beef to skillet and break up clumps; cook, without stirring, for 1 minute, then stir and cook until beef is browned around edges, about 30 seconds. Transfer beef to medium bowl.
Add 2 teaspoons peanut oil to now-empty skillet; heat until just smoking. Add broccoli and cook 30 seconds; add water, cover pan, and lower heat to medium. Steam broccoli until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes; transfer to paper towel-lined plate. Add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons peanut oil to skillet; increase heat to high and heat until just smoking. Add bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until spotty brown, about 1 1/2 minutes. Clear center of skillet; add garlic and ginger to clearing and cook, mashing mixture with spoon, until fragrant, 15 to 20 seconds, then stir mixture into peppers. Return beef and broccoli to skillet and toss to combine. Whisk sauce to recombine, then add to skillet; cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened and evenly distributed, about 30 seconds. Transfer to serving platter, sprinkle with scallions, and serve.
Note: I highly recommend subscribing to the online version of Cooks Illustrated. The complete recipe for Beef and Broccoli is available only to paid users of the site and includes step-by-step illustrations and countless additional helpful tips.