When it comes to slow cooker cooking, I consider myself a newbie. While my college friends were experimenting with slow cookers in their dorm rooms, I lived on tuna sandwiches. In fact, I bought my first slow cooker less than five years ago. So I've spent more time reading recipes for slow cooker dishes than actually cooking them.
Now that I'm more comfortable with my slow cooker (my favorite is the Ninja Cooking System, a six-quart easy-to-clean marvel that's a crock-pot and also can do "stovetop" cooking, which means I can brown meat right in the pot), I'm paying more attention to technique, and this recipe is all about technique. Rice requires special handling in a slow cooker. To start, you need special rice, i.e., converted rice. Special, but you can find it in the regular grocery store. So many slow cooker recipes call for adding cooked rice in the last 15-30 minutes of cooking, which doesn't give the rice a chance to absorb flavors from the other ingredients. This recipe is about how to get great flavor into the rice, without overcooking the vegetables or turning out meat that's tough as shoe leather.
Slow cooker beef and broccoli
From the pantry, you'll need: ground beef, reduced sodium soy sauce, oyster-flavor sauce, chili paste with garlic, sesame oil, chicken stock, onion, garlic, sesame seeds.
1-1/2 lb ground beef
3 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp oyster-flavor sauce
1 tsp chili paste with garlic (optional; if you're making this dish for my grandkids, leave it out)
1 tsp sesame oil
3/4 cup converted white rice
1-3/4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup diced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups broccoli florets
12-oz package of broccoli slaw
Black or white sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
In a frying pan (or in your Ninja Cooking System), brown the beef (no oil needed in the pan) over medium heat.
Drain the fat in the pan, and add the beef to a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker. Stir in the soy sauce, oyster sauce, chili paste (optional), and sesame oil.
Next, add the rice and chicken stock, and stir everything together. On top of that, layer the broccoli florets and broccoli slaw. Do not stir the vegetables into the sauce -- yet!
Cover and cook on HIGH for 2-1/2 hours. Peek into the cooker (or taste a few grains) to see if the rice is cooked, and if not, cook for an additional 30 minutes.
When the rice is done, stir everything together.
Serve hot, in individual bowls, garnished with sesame seeds.
More slow cooker one-pot dishes:
Beef stew with potatoes, parsnips and rutabaga, from The Perfect Pantry
Caribbean pepper pot, from The Perfect Pantry
Crock pot chicken taco chili, from Skinnytaste
Slow cooker pesto mushroom lasagna, from 365 Days of Slow Cooking
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