Monday, February 20, 2023

Joey's Slow Cooker Teriyaki Beef


    I was in the mood for a slow cooker kind of beef something. You know, like when you let it cook all day in the slow cooker until it just falls apart? Yes, that. But I wasn't feeling my usual go-to beef stew with potatoes and brown gravy vibe. So, I thought, why not do something fun and new? To be quite honest, my original thought was to do something with lots of toasted spices, sort of in an Indian inspired direction... with lots of onions, garlic, ginger, and garam masala. But then I took a quick inventory of my pantry ingredients and decided that a fabulous teriyaki might be the way to go. Ok then! We have our heading!
  Now, of course, it would be easy to just open up a bottle of purchased teriyaki sauce and call it a day, but I always have more fun making it home made, Don't you? I must admit that I only had a general idea of what goes in a good teriyaki sauce, but I figured , how hard can it be? I knew I wanted it to include pineapple juice and soy sauce, and I absolutely love the flavor of toasted sesame oil. I also figured it would probably have honey and brown sugar, but this was as far as I could go on my own. So I did what I always do! I started with those ingredients, googled a few recipes, took what I liked from each one, and made my own! I took one taste and YES! It turned out beautifully! Don't you just love when that happens? And it was super easy too. I just threw everything into the slow cooker, gave a stir, and let it cook all afternoon. You can't get much easier than that, right?  I thought of browning the beef before throwing it in, which would absolutely be fine, but I just wanted a quick set up an no extra dishes to worry about. THIS was it.
  Just set it up in the morning for an easy week night meal, or do like I did and make it for a fabulous Sunday supper. Pour it over some cooked white rice and you're good to go! Hope you'll give it t a try!

2 cups pineapple juice
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs rice vinegar
1 tbs toasted sesame oil
2 tbs Hoisin sauce
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs fresh ginger, minced 
3 scallions, sliced
2-3 lbs beef chuck, cubed 
For thickening the sauce:
2 tbs corn starch
2 tbs cold water or pineapple juice 
More sliced scallions
sesame seeds

Add all of your sauce ingredients into the insert of your slow cooker. Give it a good whisk until it's all well combined. Now add the scallions and beef cubes. Give it another stir until the meat is well coated. Cook on low for about 8 hours, or on high for about 4 hours. 
 When the beef is tender, stir together the corn starch and water (or juice, if using). Add to the sauce, and stir. If your slow cooker is on low, turn it to high, and let it cook for about 15-20 more minutes, uncovered, until the sauce is thickened. This is the perfect time to make the rice, so that everything is done at the same time. To serve, pour your beef and sauce over a mound of rice, add veggies on the side, garnish with more sliced scallions and a sprinkle of sesame seeds, if desired.

 Be sure to adjust seasoning after it's cooked. Sometimes it needs more salt or soy sauce than you think it will!
  If you'd like to stretch the meal a little further, add some beautifully colorful steamed vegetables on the side. Some broccoli florets or sugar snap peas would be absolutely perfect. You can put them on for steaming around the same time as you cook the rice!
  You can use this same recipe for chicken as well. Just add your boneless chicken to the crock pot with your sauce, and cook it on low for about 6 hours. Then remove the chicken to thicken the sauce. While the sauce is thickening, you can shred the chicken and add it back to the slow cooker. Come to think of it, that would be FABULOUS in a lettuce wrap! Yum. 
  When you add the corn starch for thickening, be sure to stir it into COLD liquid (either the water or the juice) before adding it to a hot liquid. If you add it directly to the sauce, it will clump into little starchy blobs, and no one wants that!

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