In my effort to use my crock pot more often, I have found one blog in particular to be a great resource. Stephanie, the author of A Year of Crockpotting, challenged herself to something I don’t think I could ever accomplish – to use her crock pot(s), every day for an entire year. My first thought was, I would get totally sick of pot roast, pulled meat, beef stew, and anything involving condensed cream of chicken or mushroom soup. But the truth is, Stephanie shows us that there is so much more that can be done with a crock pot. Meals that are healthy and involve natural, flavorful ingredients seem to be her specialty. I am quite amazed at all that she has come up with, and the year is not yet over!
I found this recipe for Crockpot Mongolian Beef while perusing Stephanie’s blog for Asian-inspired recipes. It called for flank steak, and it just so happened that I had a piece in my freezer, so this was perfect. I scaled back the ingredient amounts just a bit since my meat was just 1lb, and I again used my ceramic casserole inside the crock pot to prevent the meal from overcooking. Stephanie warned that this meal cooks fast, and since I needed it to last at least 11 hours in the crock pot, I added extra liquid (beef broth), enough to keep the meat covered.
We enjoyed this meal, though I’d say my husband was more wowed than me. It would be great with rice to soak up all the extra sauce, but my calorie budget did not allow, so we had steamed broccoli instead. By the way, though flank steak is a lean meat, this dish does produce quite a bit of fat on the top, which I spooned off before serving. But, overall, I was definitely happy with this meal. The meat was tender, the sauce was flavorful (though I did add a little hot chili sauce before serving, to give a little extra spice), and it was different from anything else I have cooked in the crock pot.
Here is the recipe, with my slight modifications.
Crockpot Mongolian Beef, Adapted from A Year of Crockpotting
1lb flank steak, sliced thin against the grain
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 green onions
1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup light soy sauce
1/4 cup beef broth, plus extra to cover the meat
2 tbsp sherry
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp molasses
1/2 tsp ground ginger
freshly ground black pepper
a pinch of red chili pepper flakes
1 tsp peanut butter
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch (to dredge meat–don’t add to sauce mixture)
Chop 2 of the green onions, and place in the slow cooker along with the diced onion.
Toss the meat in a bag with the cornstarch to coat. Place the meat in your slow cooker, over the onions.
Combine remaining ingredients (I used a blender to combine them quickly and thoroughly) and pour over the meat and onions, stir gently. Add enough beef broth to cover the meat. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.