Since we’ve moved into our house and begun construction, it’s the simple things in life that have kind of gone straight out the window- like an organized closet, knowing where all my cooking spices are, and the luxury (because it truly is) of having a working stove hooked up to a gas line, right next to a working sink where you can rinse off all your dishes and be on your merry way.
I’m not saying this to complain, but rather to illustrate the fact that to eat well by cooking at home, it’s not that you have to have complex ingredients, but you do need some pretty good basics. I guess I’ve learned that having the grand cooking tools and resources at my disposal is something I never thought I’d do without for more than a day or two. Although I haven’t written about it much here, our kitchen renovation – or whole house remodel/renovation on top of a situation in which our well water is severely compromised- has been a test of patience, endurance and an exercise in gratitude.
How in the world do millions, perhaps billions of people around the world live, cook and eat in places like refugee camps, war zones and completely impoverished residences? What this has taught me is to look around the corner for yet another blessing, hold my tongue about the hardships and realize we don’t have it that bad at all.
In fact, we have it great. Alhamdullilah thank God).
For example, the recipe I’m going to show you how to make right now is one I savored with all my heart- not only because I really appreciated not having to eat out for the umpteenth time (when I really prefer not to), but because I could actually get the help and convenience of a wonderful, high quality and halal product in the Saffron Road Simmer Sauce to help me eat well and serve my family something healthy- and finally break out that slow cooker! Of course I cannot forget that it was all made possible by the generosity of family and friends who keep letting me cook in their kitchens throughout this process, too…
This Korean stir fry-turned-slow cooker-meal is absolutely delicious. It’s filling, full of good ingredients and yet has basic ingredients that you can probably get your kids to eat, too. I’m a huge fan of Korean food, and when Saffron Road came out with this very unique simmer sauce to use in cooking, it was extra special because it’s pretty challenging to get halal Korean food, at least where I am. Their simmer sauce flavors are so authentic that
The best way to start is by securing the right cut of meat from your butcher.
You want to make sure you get a cut and that the meat is nice and fresh- red or pink- not gray (= not fresh).
Then assemble a few important ingredients.
Good quality sesame oil, bean sprouts, fresh garlic and ginger, yellow onion, carrots, broccoli, and the ever important Saffron Road Korean Stir Fry Simmer Sauce (to make your life easier without compromising on what’s healthy and halal and not having to worry about GMOs in your food, as the company is part of the Non-GMO Project and holds itself to the highest standards of food quality possible.
You’ll also need some fresh scallions for finishing the dish, if you like those. Also, pick out the rice to cook later, since you won’t need it for a while but you will want to have it on hand.
The first thing to do is to cut all the veggies. Break up the broccoli into small to medium size pieces, then cut up and/or grate the carrots thinly. Chop the onion and mince the garlic and ginger, too.
Next, prepare your pan to saute the onion in sesame oil and then to add the beef so it browns nicely, something it won’t do in most crock pots.
Make sure the onions get nice and hot, then add the meat so it can sear a bit. Add a little grape seed oil if the meat needs it. Too much sesame oil and it burns quickly (the oil), making it quite bitter. Grape seed oil will help the frying go a little more smoothly since we’re not using a large wok here that might make it a whole lot easier to do, if you’re used to cooking like that (I am not).
Cook it down quite a bit so that it turns color.
This is when it starts to smell amazing- when those onions wrap themselves around the meat….
Next add the cut veggies. Season, as desired. I just used salt and pepper because we have seasoning in the packet of simmer sauce we’re going to use.
Oh yum..I got a little impatient and transferred the meat and veggies to the slow cooker before the meat was super browned, but I recommend you do that. Either was is fine. Just wait until the meat is mostly cooked through, if not at all before transferring it.
Slowly add in the Saffron Road Korean Stir Fry Simmer Sauce (just one packet is needed).
And then look at all that amazing sauce (don’t forget to smell it, too)…
Now cover it and leave it alone for about 3 hours. Yes, you read me correctly- three. This is slow cooking. You really don’t even have to stir the sauce in, but go ahead if you like.
This is what it looks like all stirred up (my favorite Instagram photo during the process):
Because after three hours, this is what you get:
And now you can add that spinach you’ve been reserving.
Cover and let cook for an additional thirty minutes, covered. No need to stir in the spinach, it’ll just wilt away and then you can re-open it all and mix it together. Now’s also a good time to get that rice cooking.
You didn’t think I was going to let you off without a steamy rice photo, did you?
Okay, here are some that are more clear. But if you’re reading this in the morning and beginning to wonder what’s for dinner, as your tummy grumbles, this is it guys. This is it.
Saffron Road sells their Simmer Sauces like this one in Whole Foods Markets across the country as well as World Market stores (I couldn’t believe when I saw them there), but there are many others, so please check their store locator. They also sell their products online at their site.
I definitely want to try this simmer sauce again very soon, maybe even for Eid ul Adha buffet dish. How would you try using this sauce? Tell me…
Korean Slow Cooked Beef & Vegetables
By October 8, 2013Published:
- Yield: 4 Servings
This dish will surprise a crowd with a not-so-typical slow cooker meal. Korean flavors with healthy vegetables and your choice of rice to pair it with are a perfect combination to create a dish that you can have on the table tonight, any night of the week.
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2-4 tablespoons grape seed oil
- 2 pounds beef inside round, 1/4
- 1/4 cup yellow onion diced
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 cup carrots peeled and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic ginger
- 2 cups bean sprouts
- 1 bunch spinach (about one pound), washed
- 3-4 fresh scallions (optional)
- 2 cups rice (style according to preference)
- Heat the sesame oil in a saute pan.
- Add the onions and saute until translucent.
- Add the remaining chopped vegetables, except the spinach, which should be reserved and set aside in a cool place.
- Add the chopped garlic and ginger and combine with the meat. Continue to cook the beef thoroughly, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add spinach and continue to cook for 1/2 hour, covered. Meanwhile, prepare rice as directed according to the type you are making.
- Add one packet of Saffron Road's Korean Simmer Sauce and mix to combine.
- Slow cook the ingredients, covered, or 3 hours on high heat, stirring occasionally, if you can.
- Remove lid to let some steam evaporate.
- To plate each dish, serve with white sticky rice on the side or pour the stir fry contents on top of the rice. Add a little more sesame oil on top or fresh sesame seeds.