Orange Ginger Beef-on a budget

Like most of you out there, I suffer from sticker shock whenever I look at the price of beef roast, hamburger and steak (yikes)!  With the drought of 2012 came the selloff of a lot of stock and the rancher’s have yet to recover, so we continue to see some of the highest prices ever.  So, like most folks, we eat mainly chicken, pork and fish.  This past week a local grocery chain had beef roasts for half price.  The ad didn’t list the price so I wondered what half was, but I was willing to check it out.  It turned out to be a fairly good deal considering the market, and I was able to get some nice roasts for less than $3 a pound.  Sad when you have to be thrilled with that.

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Since steak was still out of this world, I wanted to make the most of my prize.  Could you make a dish that usually has steak and still get a good meal?  I was willing to take the chance.  The slow cooker came to mind, but I didn’t want to make a pot roast.  I love orange beef with ginger and spices, so that became the goal.  The “slow and low” of the cooker would give me tender meat so how to get the flavor.  Cutting the onions “pole to pole” will let the onion retain its integrity while adding its sweetness.  I also quartered the Crimini mushrooms and sliced the garlic to accomplish the same goal.  Add orange juice, fresh ginger, soy sauce and a spicy sesame oil.  I added a little tapioca to help thicken the sauce.

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I decided to steam the broccoli because…. well because I don’t like mushy broccoli!  Some vegetables just aren’t good candidates for the slow cooker in my opinion.  Besides, it only takes 4 minutes to steam them in the microwave.

I served this over Soma (buckwheat) noodles.  This dish has a lot of flavor and needs a noodle that can hold its own.

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The aroma while it cooked was delicious.  Cooking the buckwheat is fast….only 6 minutes.  The onions and mushrooms held up well.  I served it with a garlic chile sauce.  My family loved it.

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You’ll need:

2 1/2 lb eye of round beef roast

8 oz fresh mushrooms, quartered

1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced pole to pole

4 cloves peeled garlic, sliced

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup orange juice

1 1/2 Tbs grated ginger or ginger paste, divided

1 Tbs spicy sesame oil

1 Tbs tapioca pearls

1/4 cup fresh basil  or 2 Tbs basil sauce (see how to have fresh basil flavor year round here)

3 bunches of soba (buckwheat) noodles, cooked and rinsed

2 large bunches of fresh broccoli, cut into bit size florets

In a slow cooker, place the roast, onions, garlic, and mushrooms.  In a bowl mix the soy sauce, orange juice, 1 Tbs fresh ginger and sesame oil.  Pour over roast and vegetables.  Cook on low for 7 1/2 hours or until roast is fork tender.  Use a pair of forks to pull roast into smaller chunks.  Cut chunks into shorter pieces, if desired.

About 30 minutes before roast is done, put a large pot of water onto boil.  Cut broccoli into florets and place in a microwave safe bowl.

Just before the roast is done (less than 15 minutes), add the other 1/2 Tbs ginger and basil to the slow cooker and give it a stir.  Cook soba noodles according to package directions.  Drain and rinse.  Microwave broccoli for 3 minutes or until tender-crisp.  Add broccoli to slow cooker and stir.  To serve, place portions of noodles on plate and top with beef/broccoli.  Serve with Thai garlic chili sauce.  It may not be steak, but its darn tasty. Enjoy!

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