Saturday, September 10, 2011
I don’t know about you guys, but every once in a while I get a strong craving for some Chinese food. Usually happens to me on a Monday, when of course all of the restaurants that serve great Chinese food in our town, are closed. (P.S. this also happens to me on Sundays with Chick-Fil-A.) All week I have been craving Chinese food though, so I thought maybe I should make one of my favorite dishes at home. Or at least try to.
I was given a fun opportunity to go online to Recipe.com and search for a recipe to make for my family for dinner this week. I haven’t tried Recipe.com in the past, so I was interested to see what their site was about. After searching through recipes I found one I thought might be good. The recipe I ended up choosing was one from the Slow Cooker section. Asian Tomato Beef. I told you guys I had been craving Chinese food, and Beef and Broccoli is one of my favorite dishes, so I thought this might be worth a try. I wasn’t sure how the tomato flavor was going to fit in with the “Asian” flavor but I had high hopes.
I shopped for all my ingredients earlier that day when I went to Walmart and found everything I needed pretty easily. When I came home all I had to to was take 10 minutes to through everything in the our slow cooker, and set the timer and walk away. That’s one thing I love about slow cooker recipes.
Ingredients: Pepper, garllic, soy sauce, tomato soup, vinegar, and steak. You’ll also need fresh broccoli and uncooked rice, but not till the end.
I poured the two cans of tomato soup into my slow cooker, and added the pepper, garlic, soy sauce, and vinegar.
I stirred together all of those ingredients before adding my sliced strips of steak.
I put all of the sliced steak into the slow cooker and stirred everything together before putting on the lid and setting my timer.
I followed the directions and set my timer for 4 1/2 hours on high. 20 minutes before the timer went off I cut up the heads of broccoli I had bought earlier and added them to the slow cooker and meat.
After I put my broccoli in my slow cooker I started my rice. Normally I just buy brown rice and cook it on the stove top or in our rice cooker, but I didn’t feel like taking the extra time to make it, so I bought Uncle Ben’s Boil in a Bag, whole grain brown rice. This rice is so easy to make, no one can mess it up, and it tastes good. Even my kiddos like the brown rice.
Just put your bag into your sauce pan, add your water, and boil uncovered for 10-12 minutes.
When your rice is done boiling you can take it out of the water and drain it. Then you’re ready to open the bag and eat it. So simple!
After the rice got down I scooped out some of the beef and broccoli and put it on top.
Going to be honest with you guys and tell you that this recipe didn’t satisfy my Chinese food craving. In fact, there really wasn’t any “Asian” flavor in the recipe, at all. I really liked the concept of the slow cooker beef, and the ease of adding the broccoli at the end. That part of the recipe was great and so simple to do, especially since I am a busy mom and it’s hard to spend a lot of time preparing meals for our family. But, neither one of my kids liked the flavor of the Asian Tomato Beef, and neither did my husband or I. I think that the tomato soup just overpowered the soy sauce completely, and adding the vinegar gave the meat and sauce a bitter taste. It kind of reminded me more of a stew than anything similar to Beef and Broccoli. Maybe if they used beef broth/stock and soy sauce instead of the tomato soup it would have been better?
Even though the recipe definitely made it on my do not make again list, it has made me determined to come up with my own version of Beef and Broccoli, and hopefully I’ll still be able to make it in our slow cooker. It had all the makings of a good, inexpensive, family meal, the flavor just wasn’t right. I haven’t had a recipe fail in a long time, have you? I’d love to know some of your not so memorable dinners… Got any to share?
This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias All opinions and experiences shared in this post are honest and completely my own.