Monday, January 4, 2010

Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker

Day 4.
Slow cookers have a bad reputation. When we think of them, we conjure up images of barely recognizable roasts with that crock pot flavor. Right? Right?
Guess what! Slow cookers are so versatile! You can make a delicious meal for your family while you're away from the kitchen, and it won't have that crock pot flavor that you remember. I promise.
You can do this. Yes, you can.
(you, too, Brandy in Pueblo, Colorado)

This is my own version of Mongolian Beef. It has morphed into this combination of ingredients due to family preferences and food aversions my kids have. Don't be intimidated by the number of ingredients in this dish. It's worth the effort.

Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef with a Side of Vegetable Lo Mein
serves 6 to 8

1 Tbsp sesame oil

2 lb beef for stir-frying

2 yellow onions, sliced into 1/2" strips

1/2 cup soy sauce

3/4 cup chicken broth

3/4 cup sherry

1/2 cup apple juice

2 Tbsp minced garlic

1/4 cup Hoisin sauce

1 Tbsp peanut butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 Tbsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp each ground red pepper, white pepper, and black pepper

1 Tbsp sesame seeds (for texture)

1/2 cup white flour

1 cup scallions, sliced into 1 1/2" pieces (not pictured)

How it's Done:

  1. Drizzle the sesame oil on the bottom of your slow cooker. Throw the onions in there.

  2. Put your beef and flour in a large plastic bag and shake to cover completely. Put the beef in the slow cooker.

  3. Melt your peanut butter. In a mixing bowl, thoroughly combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, chicken broth, sherry, apple juice, garlic, Hoisin sauce, brown sugar, ginger, and peppers. Pour over beef and onions. Sprinkle on the sesame seeds. Do not stir.

  4. Cover and cook on low for four hours or until you get home, whichever is later.

  5. Add the scallions and cook on HIGH for one hour.

  6. Serve over rice or noodles.

Vegetable Lo Mein

Not authentic, but very tasty and a close approximation to what you get for take-out (but with more veggies)


  • 1 lb spaghetti noodles (thick, if you can find them) cooked according to al dente directions
  • sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced scallions
  • 1 package frozen stir-fry veggies of your choice, cooked to crisp-tender
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thinly
  • soy sauce to taste
  • 2 tsp minced garlic

How it's done:

  1. While your spaghetti is cooking, heat oil in a large wok or skillet. Add onions and stir-fry until they're just barely starting to soften. Add prepared stir-fry veggies and garlic. Fry 2 minutes. Remove to plate.
  2. Add a bit more oil to your wok or skillet. Pour the noodles in and stir-fry about a minute. Add enough soy sauce to brown the noodles and fry another minute. Return the veggies to the wok and add a bit more soy sauce as desired.
  3. Add scallions. Stir-fry 30 seconds. Remove from heat and serve.


Kathy said...

Great food photos!

Stephanie said...

Yummo!! This might have to go on our next red meat night.

Melanie B. (tamajinn) said...

My husband eats meat even though I don't, and this looks like a dish he'd love. It satisfies my two main requirements-- no tomatoes (he can't stand tomatoes or tomato sauce, so there go half the slow-cooker recipes!), and I don't have to brown or cook the meat before putting it in the crock-pot. He loves hoison sauce! I will probably try to cut the recipe in half and make it sometime.

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