Quick Weeknight Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

We've got a delicious recipe from Jeanette Terry of Wild Abandon Kitchen to share with you! Take it way, Jeanette...

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As we near the end of a week of meal planning, stir fry is one of my go to meals to use up vegetables in my produce bin and make a little bit of protein go a long way. And any meal we can throw together in the 20 minutes it takes rice to cook is a weeknight blessing for sure.

Quick Weeknight Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

(serves 4)

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 pound top sirloin (seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder)
  • 1-2 TBS olive oil (not extra virgin - can use canola, vegetable, or peanut also)
  • 1 small head of broccoli, chopped (approx 2 cups)
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 TBS fresh ginger
  • 2 TBS soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup hoisin
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam
  • Optional garnishes: sliced green onion, cashews, sesame oil

First up, let's get our rice cooking. One of my favorites is Basmati. It's a long grain rice and very forgiving as it produces a fluffy texture with no clumping. I use a basic two to one ratio of water to rice. Combine in a saucepan, add a healthy pinch or two of salt, bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Of course you are welcome to use any shortcuts that make this easier for your family - minute rice, pre-cooked frozen brown rice, cauliflower rice, or go with a rice noodle or buckwheat noodle for something different.

While the rice cooks, we can get started on the stir fry. For the beef I like to use a top sirloin steak. Cooking the steak whole gives me the flavor from browning it on the outside, but it remains rare on the inside. This allows me to slice it and add it to the vegetables and sauce later without overcooking. Season the steak with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Over medium high heat, add a tablespoon of oil to a large cast iron skillet or a large heavy bottom nonstick saute pan. Sear meat until brown on both sides, approximately 2-3 minutes per side, and remove from the pan. Set aside.

While the meat cooks, you can prep your vegetables. Anything is fair game, but I like broccoli, onion, and red bell pepper. Just make sure whatever you use is thinly sliced or chopped into bite size pieces. Once the steak is removed from the pan, turn it down to medium heat, add another teaspoon of oil if needed along with your vegetables. Let them cook for a minute or two and then add minced garlic and fresh ginger. I love the squeeze tubes of grated ginger found in the produce department. You can even use this shortcut for minced garlic if you don't buy full heads of garlic as often as I do! Continue cooking vegetables for another 2-3 minutes or until crisp tender.

To make your sauce, deglaze the pan with soy sauce and then we're going to add my two favorite hacks for a fast and delicious stir fry sauce - hoisin and apricot jam. Hoisin could be described as an Asian style barbeque sauce. It's thick and full of flavor. The apricot jam is going to balance the richness of the hoisin and the sharpness of the ginger with just the right amount of sweetness. Finally, thinly slice the steak and return it to the pan with the vegetables and the sauce. Toss to coat and warm through. Taste and add more soy sauce or jam as needed to achieve desired thickness. Serve over your rice that should be done by now, garnish as desired, and dinner is ready!

The method above will work for a variety of meats and vegetables. Substitute your favorites or use what you have on hand - leftover chicken or steak from the grill, the rest of that pork tenderloin from earlier in the week, or shrimp would be delicious too. If chopping vegetables feels daunting, grab a shortcut from the produce department like a bag of broccoli slaw, shredded cabbage, or shredded carrots. Or use vegetables that don't require chopping like snap peas or bean sprouts. Think of this as a basic framework you can customize to your tastes or time.

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