Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Charred Broccoli Beef – Broccoli Week Continues

I saw a charred broccoli salad online somewhere recently, and for whatever reason I had the idea to try the same technique for a fairly classic version of broccoli beef. Getting to burn food on purpose is always fun, and in addition to adding a whole extra layer of flavor, I love how this looks.

There’s never been a pretty broccoli beef, but I’d say this is at least handsome, and to make it even more attractive, feel free to double the sauce. The amounts below make just enough to glaze, plus a few extra tablespoons, so it you want lots of sauce to saturate your rice, you should probably make extra.

As I mentioned in the video, never use cooking sherry for cooking with sherry.  Just use sherry. The kind you drink. The good news is, we’re going to let you buy the cheapest bottle at the wine store. Cooking sherry tastes horrible, and has salt added to it, which was originally there so cooks wouldn’t drink it.

If you do make this, and you’re wondering why it doesn’t taste as good as the one from the Chinese takeout place, well, I can answer that in three initials, M.S.G. I’m not a fan of what it does the body, and don’t use it in my cooking, but if you do sprinkle some in, I think you’ll find it remarkably close. Plus, they’re not charring the broccoli. I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 portions:

For the beef:
1 pound skirt steak
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the sauce:
1/4 cup oyster sauce
3 tablespoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce, plus more to taste
2 teaspoons ketchup
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch (use 2 for a thicker sauce)

Final Assembly:
2 teaspoon vegetable oil (plus a little fat from frying the steaks)
3 cloves minced garlic
prepared sliced beef
1 pound broccoli florets, charred in hot oven with a few drops of oil
pinch cayenne
4 cups steamed rice for service

44 comments:

Scott Do said...

I really think charred food is much more harmful than MSG. We eat them anyway, right? Because they are delicious! MSG is as safe to our bodies as salt. That is to say that always use it moderately.

Just my 2 cents.
Keep up with your great works and give us more recipes.

Thank you!

beemo said...

Your previous recipe got broccoli on my mind, so I bought some today (before I saw today's recipe), plus some sirloin tip that I wanted to play around with. I've never heard of this dish before but I'm going to make it tomorrow, after I study up on how to find the grain in this beef.

P.S. You might find the most recent videos from this Indian village amusing -- they cook up a storm:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSVellbrvlxvpi6b5-YQzVQ/videos

Rhonna said...

I love skirt steaks but can never find them and when they do have them its seven dollars a pound! i will subbing out for some other meat. I love your receipes are always good so i cant wait to try this one. Thank you!

allenm said...

Is that 1/4 cup oyster sauce?

Jim M. said...

Your beef strong!

Mitchell Mayo said...

What exactly does M.S.G. do to the body?

Chef John said...

Yes, I wasn't talking about potential carcinogens from MSG, I was referring to what it does to the body's blood sugar, and carb cravings, and how it makes low-quality processed food taste amazing. MSG is one of the main reasons people line up to buy horrible fast food.

Darren S said...

Hey Chef John, love your stuff, but you are wrong about MSG. The stigma associated with MSG is the tenacious remnant of very flawed, and now discredited studies from the 70's. It's time to embrace the flavor!

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-msg-got-a-bad-rap-flawed-science-and-xenophobia/

mattjeast said...

Minor note - you're missing a "c" in between your measurement and oyster sauce in the recipe ingredients.

Emma Dupont said...

Can't wait to try out this recipe this weekend. I've loved everything I've made from your blog so far :)

Joshua Morrison said...

Chef, have you ever thought to include nutritional information/macros for your dishes? That would be really helpful.

Love your stuff!

arwiv said...

Skirt is a great tasting cut but also a pretty expensive one. A decent sirloin would work pretty good here at about half the price. If you can splurge for the skirt though I would certainly go with that.

David Saylor said...

What brand bowl are you using in this video?

Michael DePew said...

Looks good, and roasted broccoli is awesome!

Question, what does putting flour on the meat before you cook it do?

darcy said...

Can I use hanger steak instead of skirt steak?
I have some hanger from a local rancher, and I'd like to make something wonderful with it. This recipe sounds just the ticket — and it's so hard to find recipes just for hanger steak.
BTW, are hanger, skirt, and flank cuts interchangeable in recipes?
If so, why is it so rarely stated?
If not, why not? Why aren't they interchangeable?
(Off topic: my 6 and 8 year-old grandchildren loved, loved, loved your White Bean and Chicken Breast Chili — though I did tone it down for them, using about 1/3 of the chipotle and ancho chili spices; I served it with dollops of sour cream and large cubes of avocado.)

arthur dent said...

thanks for your reply on msg

ill be trying this for next weeks meal prep

thanks for your vids

Trang Luu said...

I just made this tonight for dinner and it is hands down the best beef and broccoli recipe I have tried thus far. Be it that my boyfriend is a beef and broccoli fanatic I've scoured the web for recipes far and wide. Thank you chef!

*When we were visiting family in Warsaw, a local restaurant served us the most spectacular coffee Pavlova. That, chef is my food wish, if you could do a video on Pavlova.

beemo said...

Another CJ-inspired victory!

I cut two chunks of some on-sale "sirloin-tip oven roast," read up on how to find the grain in such a nasty piece of muscle, and let it sit for an hour covered in coarse salt to tenderize it; then I realized I had neither oyster sauce nor MSG, so I drove madly to the shops in our current -30C winter nightmare while the beef was curing. Got the oyster sauce but they had no MSG. Oh well, I'll get it next time (can't wait to try MSG in recipes again, haven't deliberately used it since I was a teenager; but while living in Thailand for five years I probably ate it every single day)

Briefly, it all worked, and tasted fantastic. I must have learned a thing or two from watching all these CJ vids, because I was able to quickly solve the few problems I encountered. I can't wait to heat up the leftover portion tomorrow.

Thanks again monsieur J

idaabrahamsson said...

Hi Chef John! :)
What type of rice do you use for this dish?

/Ida

Tereasa said...

Looks very tasty! What can I use in place of the oyster sauce?

Jeff Van Rooy said...

Chef John, very much like your videos and recipes but you are completely misinformed about MSG being bad somehow for your body. This is a myth. Anyone that states otherwise has no idea what they are talking about, or they are straight up lying.

MSG is completely safe, this is well established proven fact.

MSG stands for monosodium glutamate, it is the sodium salt of glutamic acid, an amino acid which is the building block of proteins.

You consume glutamic acid from almost EVERY FOOD YOU EAT from grains to meat, since it’s a constituent part of probably every protein found on the planet. Some grain proteins have over 30% by weight glutamic acid. Since glutamic acid doesn’t exist except in the presence of water, it precipitates with sodium or other cations (potassium, lithium, and others).

Hence, the “monosodium” part of MSG. Precipitated salts do not change it’s essential chemical nature, because a glutamate ion does not exist without water.

Glutamic acid, one of the amino acids upon which every single protein is built in the human body, is chemically indistinguishable from the acid salt, MSG. Once you ingest MSG, it dissociates into sodium and the glutamate, which will be absorbed and utilized by the body.

All forms of glutamate/glutamic acid/MSG are EXACTLY the same from a chemical standpoint. The human body cannot tell the difference between the amino acid, glutamic acid, and the salt form of that acid, monosodium glutamate.

You might want to invent some difference between the three forms, to make some case that MSG is more dangerous, but that would require a complete rewriting of what we know about basic chemistry. Also you’d win a Nobel Prize for doing so.

MSG does have a sodium, but it’s actually less by weight than an equivalent amount of table salt. Salt is considered a fundamental additive to good tasting savory foods, and using MSG would make an improved taste, with less sodium.

Science.

Chef John said...

This is the problem when debating the use of MSG, since yes, it is "safe" and "natural" and not poisonous or toxic....

All that is true, BUT, it's also true that MSG is a major contributor to the obesity problem. Did you know researchers feed mice and rats MSG to fatten them up faster for their studies? So, I don't want people arguing about whether MSG is safe, but rather if it's a good idea to eat large quantities on a regular basis. I don't believe most people who defend MSG realize the effects it has on blood sugar levels, cravings, and fat production. I welcome you all to do your own research in this area, and not focus on the same tired old arguments about whether MSG is "safe." My bottom line, A little bit of MSG once in a while in high-quality food is fine, and will do no damage, BUT lots of MSG, in crappy food (for example, your typical American drive-through), is a bad idea.

Jason Smith said...

Searing in a Nonstick pan.... You broke my heart, Mitzewich

Jeff Van Rooy said...

So frustrating. YOU-EAT-MSG-EVERY-DAY.

You need to check your sources, as well as your "research" methods, because they suck and you're wrong. Mercola.com and NaturalNews are NOT good sources of information. It isn't linked to obesity nor anything else. They can't even find anyone that gets a headache from MSG, or one person that is "allergic" to it. Yes, everyone knows someone that claims that but oddly enough not one of them has been able to prove it. These people will claim the MSG in Chinese food makes them deathly ill or gives them a headache etc, but eat food with more MSG in it than Chinese food all the time and have no problems at all. You cannot live without MSG, and good luck making a meal with NO MSG is extremely difficult because it is in practically everything.

Go ahead and make a "high quality" and "healthy" typical italian meal, does it have more MSG than drive through or chinese food? In most cases it will have more.

For example, parmesan cheese has around 1200mg/100g. Tomatoes have around 200mg/100g. In other words, your typical Italian meal (and only counting the tomato sauce and Parmesan no other ingredients) may provide more MSG than the "crappy" drive-through food you keep mentioning.

There isn't a debate on this subject. It is a PROVEN FACT that it is not harmful you can eat a spoonful or two of it, and after a few hours, assuming you have a normal kidney functions it will clear out the extra sodium (as long as you drink a lot of water). Within a few hours, you are back to normal sodium level, and all that glutamate you consumed has been incorporated into billions of proteins in your body.

This type of too-lazy-to-bother-to-fact-check, fear mongering crap is how society has ended up with so many idiots running around thinking global warming is a hoax, that the earth is flat, sugar is toxic and addictive, vaccines cause Autism, Genetically Modified Organisms are bad, completely believing the sadly hilarious "organic-is-better" marketing gimmick, and why Trump is the president of the USA. Don't forget the flat-earthers, 9/11 truthers, chemtrail believers and anti-vaxxers.

For the record:

Superfoods are not a real thing.
Organic isn't better for you, or the enviroment.
Anything claiming to detox is a scam.
Anything claiming to boost your immune system is a scam.
Sugar is not toxic, nor addictive.
Nobody needs to take daily multivitamins.
High Fructose Corn Syrup is just sugar.

rotunder said...

Looks like a great recipe, my girlfriend only eats steak if it's cut up into strips like this so I'm sure she will love it.

Thanks for the tip about cutting against the grain, I never knew why you do that, I just knew that you should do that...

P.S. I can't believe how many people on here sticking up for MSG...?

Pat said...

http://www.foodrenegade.com/msg-dangerous-science/

Mary Murfin said...

Made this tonight with some leftover beef, it was delicious. You never cease to amaze me, thanks once again for a delicious recipe.

beemo said...

Well the leftovers made for a heavenly fried-rice mashup the next day.

As for MSG, consider it just an occasional treat and you'll have nothing to worry about. Then again those of us who hardly ever eat more than two small meals a day never have any food worries at all =)

darcy said...

Hanger, skirt, flank interchangeable in recipes?

Angel Twin said...

Yummy. I love broccoli. Thanks for the recipe.

Fred Hinch said...

"Charred food" is harmful? So, am I to believe that the only cave men to survive were the ones who at only 'uncharred' meat around the campfire?
Also, everyone in my family who ate MSG has died. Of course their deaths were attributed to other things, but I know it was MSG.
BTW - I am 74.

Tigh Bauxite said...

I'm usually on your side, Chef, but the link between MSG and obesity, its effects on blood sugar, and any 'harmful effects on the body' are far from accepted science.

In fact, studies have consistently shown that ingestion of glutamates, whether naturally occurring or in the form of seasoning additives, when combined with protein, increase satiety. Additional studies have shown it actual combats hyperglycemia. And of course, some studies have shown just the opposite.

One of the original studies which is widely quoted had some serious issues in methodology, but it's not surprising that it translated to dozens of headlines in the vein of, "MSG Making Us Obese? A Shocking Study Says Yes!" Articles published in medical journals, especially regarding dietary advice, are rarely translated into mass media as anything other than yet another amazing breakthrough or complete doom and gloom. There is no in-between.

However, the authors conceded that the fact that they did not include an MSG-free control that was fed ad libitum is a limitation of the present study.

"This group could have helped to get more solid conclusions on the effects of dietary effects. Furthermore, since MSG was not administered orally in this study, we cannot infer strict advices on an acceptable intake of MSG for humans based on our data."


I invite you to also read: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24927698

One more note: what brand of oyster sauce are you using? Every brand at my local grocers contains MSG. And don't get me started on soy sauce and parmesan cheese...

We can agree to disagree on this one - but one thing we can agree on: I made this dish tonight, and it tasted incredible!

Tigh Bauxite said...

I'm usually on your side, Chef, but the link between MSG and obesity, its effects on blood sugar, and any 'harmful effects on the body' are far from accepted science.

In fact, studies have consistently shown that ingestion of glutamates, whether naturally occurring or in the form of seasoning additives, when combined with protein, increase satiety. Additional studies have shown it actual combats hyperglycemia. And of course, some studies have shown just the opposite.

One of the original studies which is widely quoted had some serious issues in methodology, but it's not surprising that it translated to dozens of headlines in the vein of, "MSG Making Us Obese? A Shocking Study Says Yes!" Articles published in medical journals, especially regarding dietary advice, are rarely translated into mass media as anything other than yet another amazing breakthrough or complete doom and gloom. There is no in-between.

However, the authors conceded that the fact that they did not include an MSG-free control that was fed ad libitum is a limitation of the present study.

"This group could have helped to get more solid conclusions on the effects of dietary effects. Furthermore, since MSG was not administered orally in this study, we cannot infer strict advices on an acceptable intake of MSG for humans based on our data."


I invite you to also read: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24927698

One more note: what brand of oyster sauce are you using? Every brand at my local grocers contains MSG. And don't get me started on soy sauce and parmesan cheese...

We can agree to disagree on this one - but one thing we can agree on: I made this dish tonight, and it tasted incredible!

Juan Ruiz said...

I made this, thank you chef john it was delicious!!! My wife says its the best broccoli beef she ever had :)

Juan Ruiz said...

Thank you chef john! I made this for dinner and my wife loves it, says its the best broccoli beef she's ever had :)

Orenwolf said...

I use MSG in my Asian home cooking recipes (and will here), but actively avoid it in prepared foods or restaurants that put it in everything, for exactly the reasons Chef John points out. It has two uses: 1) to add umami (like anchovies or parm), for which it is ideally suited and safe, or 2) to make crappy low quality food taste good.

Ain't nobody got time for #2. If everything in your menu has it, or your prepared food uses to cover up a substandard dish, then I won't be eating it.

S/V Blondie-Dog said...

Greetings Chef, Is it imperative to cook this dish with Sherry or would Merlot work as well? Thanks.

Emma Dupont said...

Made this on Sunday it was a hit!

I couldn't find skirt steak so I used flat iron and I increased the sauce amount but stuck to the everything else in the recipe. Will make again for sure. Thank you once again for a delicious recipe Chef John!

Orenwolf said...

Omg @pat. Beware of sites with no references to studies and just one Dr. as the reference point. You can't get more fake news than that.

stephenco said...

I am from Manila, Philippines and I love your recipes. I've been cooking your dishes with whatever's available locally and they all taste amazing. I cooked this yesterday for Sunday lunch and the family was happy!

Your videos are amazing, both entertaining and informative. I'm a fan and I hope to meet you someday! -Stephen

S/V Blondie-Dog said...

Greetings Chef! I'll has ya' done knows dat' I done cooked me up this here brocolli cow dish and it be delish! Even my finicky lady-friend thought it to be decidely edible or so she claims. I did nevertheless trick it up jest' a tad. I couldn't find me any Sherry hiding out in the back of the pantry so I done did the next best thing and Googled an acceptable substitute. Hence why I mixed in a bit of Chardonnay with a bit of brown sugar 'till the "booziness be done gone". Anywho's I be well fed. Thanks! Your da' best!

Caramon said...

I love the videos Chef but when it comes time to cook I really need a write up to remind me what I'm supposed to be doing. It'd be great to have some short steps written out, at least. I know it's a bit of a pain to do (I should know, I've been doing it for every recipe of your's I've cooked!) but I think it would make cooking your recipes easier for people like me.

Unknown said...

Love your videos Chef John. I will be trying this one tonight but would love some heat in it so will be adding some Sambal chili paste to the sauce mixture. Thanks Chef!

N.B. Kristjansson said...

If you want to add sliced mushrooms, should they be cooked before or after the beef?