Wednesday, July 3, 2013

What Would Genghis Khan Think?

Man, it's been hot here in Lubbock, like 110 degrees hot.  And, although I love to cook every day, I don't love it so much when the house heats up from turning the oven and the stove on.  So it's time to get out the crockpot!

My husband just adores it when we have "Chinese Food Night."  It's probably his favorite meal.  We even now have Chinese food for New Year's Day.  Yes, I live in Texas and I know you're supposed to eat black-eyed peas on New Year's Day.  But we are always changing things up and putting our own spin on everything, so why not.  I've been wanting to make Mongolian Beef and I wanted to do it in the crockpot.  Now, Mongolian Beef is a Chinese-American dish and really has nothing to do with the Mongolian way of cooking.  It was apparently named "Mongolian" because it sounded exotic to whomever created it.  Whatever the origin, it's very tender meat in a thick sauce that is slightly sweet, as spicy as you want it, and great for "Chinese Food Night."  The version I created amazed me at how perfectly the sauce thickened up in the crockpot.  Served over some soft rice noodles, this dish made my husband and kids run up and down the streets yelling how awesome I am!  Yeah, you're right.  They really didn't do that.  But they asked for seconds, and that's pretty close to the same thing.

I think Genghis Khan would like this, don't you?

3 lbs lean beef roast, like tri-tip or tenderloin, cubed
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, smashed
One 7-ounce jar Hoisin sauce
1/2 C soy sauce
1/2 to 3/4 C brown sugar (depends on how sweet you want it)
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 C water
1/2 C rice wine vinegar
Sesame oil
A few drops of fish sauce (optional)
A few drops of oyster sauce (optional)
1-3 T chili paste (depends on how hot you want it)

Put a generous amount of cornstarch into a large zipper bag.  Put the meat in and shake it around.  Shake off the excess cornstarch.  Drizzle a small amount of sesame oil into a crockpot.  Add in the remaining ingredients.  Cook over low heat for about 6 hours or until the sauce is thickened and the meat is tender.  Serve over rice noodles and with steamed broccoli, if desired.

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