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CHINESE-ISH BEEF WITH BROCCOLI

1 tablespoon peanut oil or other vegetable oil
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
1 to 1 1/2 pounds steak (such as London broil, skirt steak, flank steak or blade steak), sliced against the grain
1 onion, peeled and sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons grated, peeled fresh ginger or
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 (15-ounce) can straw mushrooms
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Asian chili paste, or hot red pepper flakes
1 cup canned beef broth
1/4 cup regular or reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry, rice wine or white vermouth (optional)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 cups chopped fresh or frozen broccoli or broccoli florets
1 (8-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
Chopped scallions for garnish

Spray the inside of a slow cooker’s stoneware insert with cooking spray to prevent sticking.

In a skillet set over medium-high heat, heat the peanut (or vegetable) oil and sesame oil. Cook the steak until browned on all sides, about 7 minutes. Transfer the meat and any accumulated pan juices to the slow cooker.

Add the onion, garlic, ginger, mushrooms and chili paste (or hot pepper flakes), the broth, soy sauce and sherry (or rice wine or vermouth), if using, to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours.

Spoon the cornstarch into a small bowl and add about 6 tablespoons of the cooking liquid, stirring to make a paste. Scrape the paste into the slow cooker, stir, and add the broccoli and water chestnuts. Cover and cook on high for 15 minutes, or until the liquid has thickened slightly, broccoli is tender and the water chestnuts are heated through. Serve over rice with chopped scallions.

Prep ahead: The night before, combine the broth, soy sauce and sherry (or other wine) in a jar and cover and refrigerate. Slice the onions and chop the garlic and ginger, cover and refrigerate.

Source: Barbarians at the Plate: Taming and Feeding the Modern American Family by Marialisa Calta

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