I made this dish for the first time several weeks ago. It was the beginning of October and the tips of the leaves were just beginning to burn with red-orange fire. The air had cooled. The humidity was long gone, and I pulled my collection of scarves from their dusty containers in the hall closet.
I’m confused. Do I wear a sweater? A t-shirt? Pants? A skirt? My tank tops and shorts are all “whaaaaat? I thought I was on vacation for the season!” and my sweaters are hanging dejectedly in the closet, just waiting for their chance to shine.
And our meals? I don’t know what the heck to do with our meals. We picked a ripe tomato out of the community garden this week. A beautiful, red tomato…at the end of October!
What am I supposed to do with that? I’ve made my spaghetti sauce and BLTs and roasted tomato crostinis. I’m ready for soup and meat and pasta and root vegetables and chili!
It certainly doesn’t help that I already broke out the crockpot, made this broccoli and beef, and was totally astounded at how simple and satisfying and delicious it was.
I spent about 4.3 minutes throwing all the ingredients together in a crockpot, made some rice when I got home from work, and had dinner on the table by 6:30. Nothing makes me feel like Superwoman more than having dinner ready before 7.
And this wasn’t just a “think of it as calories” or “I guess it’ll hold us over till morning” or “I’m going to need a bowl of cereal after this” kind of dinner.
This was a winner. In my book. In the Mr’s book. In the “Knock Your Family’s Socks Off Dinner Recipes” book. (note: this book does not exist, but it should, because I would totally buy that book).
Better than takeout. Really. The meat is fall-apart tender, totally MSG free, and actually comes from a cow. Not that takeout beef doesn’t. It’s just that sometimes?…I wonder.
So I say, who cares if it’s sunny? If there’s tomatoes on the vine? If I’m still wearing flip-flops?
It’s fall and I’m having crockpot beef!
Will you join me?
P.S. I would like to take this opportunity to blame the weather for confusing me about what season it was thereby preventing me from making massive amounts of adorable Halloween inspired treats to share with you all.
Crockpot Beef and Broccoli (It's gluten free!)
Tender beef and broccoli coated in a sweet and savory sauce. Makes for a perfect Autumn weeknight meal.
- 2 lb. boneless beef roast, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 cup beef broth (Pacific Naturals is a nice gluten free option)
- 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce (Kikkoman makes a gluten free soy sauce)
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 Tablespoons sauce from the crockpot
- 1 bunch broccoli, chopped into florets
- 6 servings cooked white rice
- In the bowl of your crockpot, mix together beef broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and garlic cloves. Place beef pieces in crockpot and stir to coat with sauce mixture. Set the crockpot to low and cook for 6-8 hours.
- Remove 4 Tablespoons of the sauce in the crockpot to a small bowl. Mix in 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch and whisk together until dissolved. Pour mixture into crockpot. Stir in broccoli florets. Cover and cook on low for another 30 minutes or until sauce is thickened. Serve over white or brown rice.