Broccoli and Beef, a Great Combination

I can remember whenever my family when to the local Chinese Restaraunt my dad would always order Broccoli Beef as one of the dishes to share. This worked well as I would eat all the beef and my sister would eat all the broccoli. This dish for me is quite nostalgic. So when I saw a recipe for it pop up in Josh Mcfadden’s Six Seasons I was intrigued. Add to that it was topped with a Capper Raisin vinaigrette which certainly peaked my curiosity. It seems only fitting that this ended up being the post on my Dads birthday…

This recipe was another great example of a great dish but one that I totally pulled apart and made my own. In the original recipe the vinaigrette was very thick form the large amount of parsley in it and then the whole thing was topped in breadcrumbs. They in turn soaked up any moisture and became soggy. I also cooked the whole thing at the beginning of the week. By the end of the week the dish was lacking, the broccoli was almost soft and the reheating meant that everything was getting over cooked. I wanted a nice sweet dark brown sauce for this dish, I wanted beef that was perfectly cooked and pink in the center, I wanted broccoli that was bright green with a crunch to it, and I wanted it all to be quick and easy.

Step one, I eliminated the parsley all together and added in soy sauce and ginger. I wanted to bring in some more traditional Asian flavors. I made a double batch of this “vinaigrette”. I used half as a marinade for the beef and half as a dressing for the broccoli.

Next, when I prepped the broccoli, after getting it all separated and sliced I divided it into four portions (for four nights dinners), put it into separate ziplock bags and put them in the fridge. Each night as I made dinner I just had to pull out a bag of broccoli knowing it was already exactly what I needed for the two of us.

Lastly I portioned my beef into four portions as well. I then put them into separate zip locks and added equal amounts of vinaigrette to each bag. I massaged the bags to get the beef well covered and put those bags in the fridge as well. Now that I am a firm believer in the sous vide cooking all I have to do is at 3pm turn on the sous vide to 130ºf. Once it reaches temperature I simply lower the beef into the water and let it cook for 2 hours. This is done completely unattended.

When it comes to dinner time, about 5:30pm, I simply heat up my electric wok. I remove the beef from the water, set it aside, add some oil to the wok, and pour in the contents of the bag of beef. This is going to sizzle and pop like crazy but the idea is just to get the color you want on the beef. Once it’s nicely browned I set the meat aside and add a bag of broccoli to the wok along with a portion of the vinaigrette and a little water. I give it a good toss and place the lid on for a minute or two to let it steam. I then rove the lid toss it some more and let it sit for a minute while I cut my pieces of beef into about 1-inch pieces and add it back to the wok with the broccoli and give it a few more tosses. I then turn off the heat and let it sit for a minute or two and serve it up.

This whole thing only takes maybe 10 minutes of actual cook time. It’s not exactly the Broccoli Beef you get at a Chinese Restaraunt but the flavors are fantastic. By cooking the beef and broccoli every night I get the best flavor and texture and adding in the soy and ginger I get a little more of a Asian twist to this great recipe and by using sous vide to cook the beef it makes my cook time incredibly quick. The thing that can often take the longest to cook is any protein. By letting the immersion circulator do all that work without me involved means that I can spend more time doing the things I want to be doing and less time in the kitchen cooking.

Broccoli Beef with Caper Raisin Vinaigrette

Makes 8 servings

  • 1 ½ pounds Chuck Country Short Ribs
  • 2 pounds Broccoli, florets cut into small pieces and the stalk thinly slices into discs
  • 3 ounces Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 ounces Soy Sauce
  • 110 grams Golden Raisins
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 3-4 thin slices Fresh Ginger, minced
  • 1 jar Capers, drained
  • 2 ounce can Anchovy Filets, drained
  • 5 ounces Olive Oil

Start with portioning out the beef into 6 ounces. Place each portion into a quart sized ziplock bag and set aside. Move on to portioning the broccoli into 8 ounce portions and place them in gallon zip locks, seal and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

For the vinaigrette start with soaking the raisins in a small bowl with the vinegar and soy sauce. Let that sit for at least 30 minutes but you can let it sit for quite a while if you want.

Once you’re ready to make the vinaigrette pour the contents of the bowl into a food processor along with the garlic, ginger, capers, and anchovies. Pulse until it forms a smooth paste. With the food processor running add in the olive oil and stop as soon as all the oil is added.

Divide the vinaigrette in half. Store half of the vinaigrette in the fridge until you are ready to cook the broccoli. With the remaining half divide it evenly amongst the four bags of beef. Seal the bags and refrigerate until ready to use. I love this dish because up to this point I can do everything in advance.

To cook the beef:

Pre heat the water in your sous vide to 130ºF about 2 ½ hours before you want to serve dinner. Once the water is heated Add one bag of the marinated beef and cook for two hours. (This will serve two. If you are wanting to make more servings add more bags of beef as necessary. The best part of sous vide is that it has no impact on the cooking time.)

When the beef is done remove the bag from the water and set aside. Preheat your wok to a high heat. Add a little wok oil. Add your broccoli and toss well. Add a ¼ of the vinaigrette you reserved in the refrigerator and toss again. Pour in all the contents of the bag including the beef and toss again. Pour in a tablespoon or two of water, toss, and cover for about 2-3 minutes.

With tongs remove the pieces of beef and set them on a cutting board to rest. Turn off the wok/remove from the heat and evenly divide the broccoli into your desired dishes. Cut up the beef into bite sized pieces and divide amongst the dishes of broccoli. Top with sesame seeds and serve immediately.

Chinese Broccoli Beef


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