I love my crock pots. I literally have 9 of them (no joke). And I actually had more until our recent move forced me to reevaluate necessary kitchen equipment. They are all different sizes, shapes and colors. It might seem like overkill. Until I host a New Year’s party and I have one crock for the spinach and artichoke dip, one for the jalapeno poppers, one for the meatballs, one for the queso, one for sliders, one for pulled pork and one for corn dogs. Then I don’t look like such a crazy crock pot lady! Or maybe I look like more of a crazy crock pot lady…
Who cares! I am one of those people who uses their crock pots year round. I use them in the winter for my Secret Family Recipe Chili and Peach Whiskey Meatballs, and in the summer for things like this braised beef. It’s perfect for those hot, sticky Wisconsin summer days when it’s SO humid the last thing you want to do is turn your oven on. And it’s an easy weeknight meal to throw in the crock pot before you leave for work so you have a hot dinner ready to go when you walk through the door after a long day of meetings or momming or school or whatever it is that you do all day.
I like to serve my braised beef over rice and crisp, sauteed summer veggies. A few years ago my husband bought me a rice cooker for my birthday and I bet I’ve used it a hundred times since then. For all the delicious meals I whip up in the kitchen, rice has always been the bain of my culinary existence. I don’t know what it is, but I cannot cook rice to save my life. Now I mix it with some chicken broth in the rice maker and walk away.
Sometimes you just have to accept your flaws–cooking rice well is definitely one of mine. We all have our faults and that’s what makes this world such a beautiful place. Well, that and delicious food.
Asian Braised Beef
- 3 lbs. beef chuck roast, cut into large cubes
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 inch cube ginger, minced
- 4 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1/2 cup tamari or low sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- Kosher salt
- fresh cracked pepper
Heat 2 tablespoons oil a large saute pan over medium high heat. Season beef with a liberal amount of salt and pepper. Working in two batches, sear all sides of each piece of beef until dark brown. A good rule of thumb is that the meat is done searing when it can easily be removed from the surface of the pan; if it’s sticking it’s not done yet. You are not trying to cook the meat through at this point, just adding a layer of flavor. Transfer seared beef to a large crock pot. Add 2 more tablespoons olive oil to the pan and sear remaining batch of beef, then transfer to crock pot.
Add remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil to the same pan and turn heat to medium. Add onion and ginger along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Saute, stirring frequently for 4 minutes. Then add garlic and saute for another minute, stirring frequently. Transfer onion, ginger and garlic to the crock pot. Then add beef broth, tamari, rice vinegar, ground ginger, sesame oil and a liberal amount of salt and pepper. Stir to combine, cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or until the beef is fork tender and pulls apart easily. Serve with rice and sauteed veggies. Enjoy!