Who doesn’t love slow-cooker?? With Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef, dinner is ready when you come home and you can turn value-priced beef options like Blade into something that you could serve to company. After deeming this recipe (from EatInEatOut™) DELICIOUS, as true Beef Geeks, we had to do some testing…
Here are the Test Kitchen Chronicle results:
1. Did it make a difference if you cook the recipe for 3 hours, 4 hours or 6 hours in the slow cooker?
EIEO tried it for 2 hours on HIGH and 4 hours on LOW. Both cooking times work, but they found that cooking 3 hours on HIGH was perfect. What happens if you want to simmer away while you’re at work?? Canadian Beef Centre of Excellence tried the 6 hour cook time on LOW and had great results. We tested at the 4 hour mark and found the meat to be too ‘springy’ and not tender enough.
So HIGH or LOW??- tell us which option you used and how it worked out for you.
2. Could you substitute in a Round Steak (which is a Marinating Steak) instead of a Blade Steak (which is a Simmering Steak)?
At the Canadian Beef Centre of Excellence, we tried Inside Round Marinating Steak vs the Blade – braising them at the same time in the same sauce. Blade was cut into stew-sized cubes (on the left in picture) and we left the Inside Round as a whole piece (so it was easy to know which was Blade and which was Round). THE RESULT: if you didn’t do a side-by-side comparison, the Inside Round would be totally edible and you’d probably love it in the yummy Mongolian sauce. HOWEVER…. when tested compared to the Blade – THE BLADE STEAK WAS THE WINNER– hands-down! The Blade had a richer, juicier mouth feel and every strand of beef was so tender and had BIG beefy flavour. The Inside Round: dryer and took more chewing – and frankly, just wasn’t as flavourful. THERE’S GOOD REASON that ROUND STEAKS are ‘MARINATING STEAKS’ and BLADE STEAKS are ‘SIMMERING STEAKS’. We’ve found the same holds true with Pot Roasts and Oven Roasts. If you braise an Eye of Round it will indeed be tender, but not nearly as flavourful or tender as a Pot Roast like Blade or Cross Rib.
3. Some modifications from the Canadian Beef Centre of Excellence kitchen:
• we stirred in some jarred minced gingerroot and a splash of sesame oil at the end of cooking to bump up the flavour – nice editions. Dip into your pantry to see what you may have to try out. Some Asian Chili Sauce might be nice.
• just before serving, to round out the meal we stir-fried some veggies in a pan with some minced garlic and added in some of the sauce from the Mongolian Beef — a mixture of sweet peppers and broccoli made a colourful addition.
• we made this more ‘family sized’ using 2-1/2 lb of blade simmering steak. There was lots of sauce, so increasing the meat worked out just fine.
Calling all fellow Beef Geeks: take Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef for the test drive in your kitchen — be sure to share your test results back via our Comment Box or Tweet me @CDNbeefrecipes. Enjoy!
AND if you want our Slow Cooker recipe collection, visit our e-store for your copy.
- 1-1/2 lb (750 g) Beef Simmering Steak (Blade or Cross Rib), cut into strips
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced
- ¾ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- ¾ cup water
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup slivered carrot (about 2 large carrots)
- sliced green onion for garnish
- In a large resealable bag, add steak along with cornstarch. Shake to coat steak well.
- To a slow cooker add oil, garlic, soy sauce, water, brown sugar and carrots. Stir to combine.
- Add steak strips and stir again to coat with sauce. Slow cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 4-5 hours, stirring once. Serve over steamed rice with a sprinkle of sliced green onion.