For all intents and purposes, today was a fail. Clarification: #momfail. The kids acted (mostly) just fine, but I lost my ability to remain calm and patient. I yelled. I got frustrated. I wagged my finger. I was late picking them up from a friend who kept them all morning (I know – all that failure stuff just in the time to get out the door. Super, eh?).
Then, there was dinner. And I was dreading it.
We had a good chunk of leftover beef brisket from the weekend that had been slow cookered with a sauce (store bought), of which no one raved. Then we had a flank steak from Pinterest that again drew few comments. So here I am with a bag of meat (*wince face, looking sideways*) that simply must be eaten or I’ll have an economic heart attack. I also had 2 heads of broccoli that my meal plan rearrangement left orphaned. So, Mongolian Beef & Broccoli it was.
Backstory: my husband looooooves “Chinese” food. (I use the quotes because I’ve yet to visit China but I have a sneaking suspicion that the food I would eat would not taste like our take out). And every attempt I’ve ever made, short of the MSG-laden envelopes, failed miserably. Even something as simple as fried rice (and yes, I cooked it the day before and then fried). So my enthusiasm for tonight dinner lagged just a tad.
Alas, the hour of whining was upon me, so I began the preparations. And I must say, the results – based on a poll of child eaters and myself, as JJ comes home late tonight – were astounding. “It’s delicious!” came out more than once per child. Baby C inhaled the broccoli. H Boy raved about the meat and ate 2 bowls of everything Miss M even finished her bowl. Top that off with the fact I didn’t obliterate the rice for once and you’ve got one happy mama.
So, here’s the recipe. I solemnly vow never to use up leftover roast or tough beef in any other way again. I’m also detailing exactly what I did because I was using leftovers. We’ll pretend it’s because I want you to have the same glorious experience. Really, I just need to log this down exactly what order I did everything because to say I “strayed” from my guiding recipe
is an understatement.
Mongolian Beef & Broccoli :: Leftover Resuscitator
Mix together in a glass measuring cup:
1/2 cup soy sauce (I only buy the gluten free now, not just because of the gluten thing but because the taste is far superior. Totally worth the extra $0.40 for a purchase you make every 3 months at most)
1/2 cup water
1/4ish tsp red pepper flakes (definitely more if you like heat – this recipe is a zero on that scale, fine by me)
Several good shakes of ground ginger (I have no idea the fresh-to-dried ratios to follow, but JJ believes ginger to be the miracle seasoning, so I wasn’t shy. I’d guess 1/4-1/2 tsp)
1/4 cup brown sugar
In your biggest frying pan over low heat:
Chop 1 carrot small and saute in a few tablespoons of sesame seed oil until mostly soft
Add 3 cloves garlic and cook 1-2 minutes (if you’re using fresh ginger, add it now. How much fresh ginger? You’d have to ask a fresh ginger user. Not me.)
Add sauce and bring to a simmer, cook 3-4 minutes. It doesn’t really get much thicker.
2 heads broccoli, chopped (no stems for us)
1 onion, in long thin pieces (julienne? I’m so not a food blogger)
1 can water chestnuts
1 huge back of leftover meat, sliced. I swear there was at least a pound, probably a pound and a half.
Cover and let simmer on medium low heat for a little while, stirring somewhat often as it’s a very full pan and you want the sauce to cover well.
Serve over rice, if you can cook it. There’s a 40% chance in this house, but tonight it was a win.