Stir-Fried Beef and Broccoli in Garlic Sauce

Stir-Fried Beef and Broccoli in Garlic Sauce

Excerpted from The Best Light Recipe. © 2006 by the Editors of Cook's Illustrated. Used by permission of America's Test Kitchen, Brookline, MA. All Rights Reserved.

Serves 4

Let the beef marinate as you make the sauce and prepare the vegetables.

3/4 pound flank steak, sliced thin against the grain
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons dry sherry
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
3 scallions, white parts only, minced
4 teaspoons peanut or vegetable oil
8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, wiped clean, tough stems removed, and sliced 1/2 inch thick (about 3 cups)
1 1/2 pounds broccoli (1 bunch), florets cut into 1-inch pieces, stalks trimmed and sliced thin
1/2 cup water
Garlic Sauce (recipe follows)

1. Toss the beef with the soy sauce and sherry in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, ginger, scallion whites, and 2 teaspoons of the oil.

2. Heat 1 more teaspoon oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add the beef and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up clumps, until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the beef to a clean bowl.
3. Add the remaining teaspoon oil to the pan and return to high heat until shimmering. Add the shiitakes and cook, stirring frequently, until browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer the shiitakes to a clean bowl.

4. Add the broccoli and water to the pan, cover, and cook until the broccoli begins to turn bright green, 1 to 2 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid evaporates and the broccoli is crisp-tender, 2 to 4 minutes longer. Return the shiitakes to the pan. Clean the center of the pan and add the garlic mixture. Cook, mashing the garlic mixture into the pan with the back of a spatula, until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Stir the garlic mixture into the broccoli. Add the beef and toss to combine. Whisk the sauce to recombine, then add it to the pan, and bring to a simmer. Off the heat, toss until the beef and vegetables are well coated with sauce and sizzling hot. Serve immediately.

Garlic Sauce

Makes enough for 1 stir-fry recipe

This sauce adds a rich garlic flavor to beef and seafood but does not overpower other ingredients. Adjust the heat as desired by adding more red pepper flakes to the stir-fry.

1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup dry sherry
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1. Combine all the ingredients except the garlic and pepper flakes in a small bowl and set aside.

2. Add the garlic and pepper flakes to the garlic mixture in step 1 of the stir-fry recipe.

LYNNE'S TIPS

When you want paper-thin slices of meat or chicken, freeze it for 15-20 minutes. It will slice easily.
Peanut oil is often used for stir-frying and high heat sautéing because it has a higher smoke point.
Dark, toasted Asian sesame oil lends an assertive flavor accent and fragrance to dishes. In Asian cuisines you don't cook with sesame oil, you use very small quantities to finish seasoning a dish.
Look for plump shiitakes with no sign of shriveling. In some areas they are called Chinese black or golden oak mushrooms.