Slow Cooker Beef & Broccoli

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I hate being rushed, but especially when it comes to dinner time!  It may not be this way in your home, but at my house from about 4:00 till dinner time is usually hectic…with my little guy coming home from school, homework for him and my little miss kindergartner to get done, everyone needs snacks, my littlest (2 1/2 year old) who has decided to forego naps is miss cranky pants (boo), everyone wants my attention at the same time and hubby isn’t home yet!  I’m sure no one else has experienced this scenario before (insert sarcasm here), but these are the nights when mom’s tend to throw up their hands in exasperation and order fast food for dinner just to make life a little less crazy.  Been there.  Done that.

But since I’m on a mission to, as much as possible, feed my family healthy, home cooked meals without all the unpronounceable ingredients I turn to my slow cooker when I know it’s going to be a busy day.  This beef and broccoli look-a-like is better than takeout from your favorite Chinese restaurant because you know exactly what’s in it and that makes it taste even better at the end of a long day!  Serves 6

2 round steaks about 2-3 lbs. total. I had a couple chuck eye steaks in the freezer that worked just fine
2 tbsp. sesame seed oil
salt & pepper
1 onion, chopped
2 clove garlic, minced
1 inch fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp. honey
2-3 cups fresh broccoli florets or thaw frozen broccoli
1 8 oz. can water chestnuts, drained
1/2 cup cashews, chopped (opt.)
2 cups brown rice, cooked according to package directions

Salt and pepper steaks on both sides then in a hot skillet pan sear in the oil until browned on both sides. Transfer steaks to slow cooker, but leave the drippings in the skillet to cook the onion, garlic and ginger root until soft and the onion begins to caramelize around the edges.  Add the apple cider vinegar, soy sauce and honey.  Scrap up all the yummy bits off the bottom of the pan and pour everything into the slow cooker along with the meat.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  The meat will shred easily at this point.  The last 15-20 minutes of cooking time add in the broccoli, water chestnuts and cashews if you like.  Serve over rice.


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