Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli

I love our neighborhood Chinese take out place for a quick dinner that doesn’t make me feel completely guilty for not cooking. One of our family favorites is Beef and Broccoli. It’s got broccoli, therefore it must be healthy.

Sure, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

When I saw this pin by Damn Delicious for Beef and Broccoli in the slow cooker my first reaction was skeptical at best. Beef and Broccoli is a stir fry… but then I read Chung-Ah’s post and recipe in detail and it sounded extremely plausible. Why not? Definitely worth giving a test. To the wok crock pot!

Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli - Original Pin

The Pintesting:

The ingredients were easy to find at my local grocer. (There’s also brown sugar that didn’t make it into the picture, but did make it into the dish.)

Pintesting Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli

Trim and thinly slice the meat, and put in the crock pot.

NOTE: The recipe called for 2 lbs of chuck roast. By the time I trimmed it to my liking, I had 1 1/2 pounds left. There was still a LOT of meat.

Pintesting Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli

Make the sauce together.

Pintesting Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli

Toss the meat with sauce and cook for 90 minutes. Crock pot cooking usually takes a minimum of 4-6 hours and up to 10-12 hours, depending on the recipe. I was a little concerned that this wouldn’t be long enough, but…

Pintesting Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli

This is what the meat looked like after cooking for 90 minutes. Oh, and I forgot to mention how amazing the sauce smelled.

Pintesting Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli

Add the broccoli and cornstarch slurry (to thicken the sauce).

Pintesting Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli

Cook for another 30 minutes.

Pintesting Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli

Serve w/ rice – OMG!!!

My handsome husband said that this was better than the take-out place, and that’s saying a lot. The meat was unbelievably tender and flavorful and the sauce was perfect. The broccoli was fully cooked but not mushy. We both also like that we knew exactly what is in our food – no mystery ingredients.

The Pintesting Results:

Overall Rating: 4.55 Pins

Pintesting Seal 5 Pins

Accuracy: This recipe really captures the flavor of take-out Beef and Broccoli made at home. Using the slow cooker was a brilliant idea on Chung-Ah’s part. The beef was very tender, but not to the point of shredding, the sauce was fantastic, and the broccoli was completely done without being mush. (I don’t like mushy veggies.) 5 PinsRated 5 Pins

Difficulty: The hardest part of this recipe was trimming the roast. I have a tendency to go a bit overboard with that, and since the cooking time (2 hours total) isn’t the normal 6-8 hours in a slow cooker, I didn’t want to have hunks of fat or stringy meat. You don’t have to go to the same lengths of trimming – Chung-Ah didn’t mention it in her recipe. The rest was super simple; whisk together the sauce, toss in the broccoli and cornstarch slurry. Easy Peasy. 5 Pins

Rated 5 Pins

Time: Because this is a slow cooker recipe, I look at it with a bit of a curve. The prep time was roughly 10-15 minutes – mostly because of my obsessive trimming of the roast. Still, not bad. Since the crock pot did the rest without my assistance (just the add-ins after 90 minutes), this gets 4 Pins.

Rated 4 Pins

Cost: The Roast was the most expensive part of the meal, but I was fortunate to get it on sale for about $7. The broccoli was also on sale. I did have to purchase a lot of the sauce ingredients for the 1st time, but even so this will make a LOT of Beef and Broccoli before you run out. The total cost was less than two orders of take-out, it makes 4 servings, and you’ll be able to re-use lots of the ingredients. But because most kitchens might not have the sauce ingredients as a staple, I’m giving this 3 Pins.

Rated 3 Pins

Practicality: If you need a quick fix for Beef and Broccoli take-out, hit up your local restaurant. If you want amazing flavor and are willing to wait 2 hours with minimal work, then this is a great way to go. I like that I know what’s in it, how it makes the house smell amazing, and the “yum” noises of approval. It’s a great recipe to throw into the crock pot before soccer or piano or shopping. I also like that my kitchen isn’t covered in splattered grease from stir frying. 5 Pins

Rated 5 Pins

Crock Pot Spicy Buffalo Ranch Chicken

Does anyone else have a busy life? Dumbest. Question. Ever. Trying to balance all of life’s aspects requires about 32 hours a day, but we only get 24. That’s why I LOVE crock pot cooking. It’s a HUGE time saver! Simply dump (or carefully layer) the ingredients into the magical appliance, turn it on, and walk away. Hours later I come home to a house that smells amazing and dinner (or supper, depending on where you are in the world) is DONE! I have some family favorite recipes but am always on the lookout for something new. I found such a recipe while perusing through Pinterest and spotted this pin for Crock Pot Spicy Buffalo Ranch Chicken from Tammilee’s Tips. Three ingredients that look like a cross between BBQ Chicken in texture and Buffalo Chicken in taste.

THREE INGREDIENTS – I’m in! Let’s try this.

The Pintesting:

http://www.tammileetips.com/2013/01/crock-pot-spicy-buffalo-ranch-chicken/

So here are the ingredients; chicken, buffalo sauce, and ranch mix.

Pintesting Crock Pot Spicy Buffalo Ranch Chicken

Dump everything into the crock pot.

Pintesting Crock Pot Spicy Buffalo Ranch Chicken

Turn it on low, then walk away. For those who have an aversion to leaving a kitchen appliance on all day – especially if you’re not home to watch it (yes, I know you’re out there and it’s okay), just put the crock pot on your stove top. I have a friend who just couldn’t leave a crock pot on her counter to cook while she was gone to work. When I suggested this, it made everything okay and she started making crock pot meals 3-4 times a week. Don’t ask or question, just do it.

After you get home (6-8 hours later), it will look like this.

Pintesting Crock Pot Spicy Buffalo Ranch Chicken

Shred the chicken. I used the two carving forks that came with my knife set because of their long handles which allowed me to shred it in the crock pot without getting my hands too close to the food or the hot sides.

Pintesting Crock Pot Spicy Buffalo Ranch Chicken

There, the chicken is DONE! Since this is buffalo chicken, I wanted a side that would balance the spiciness. What could be better than the traditional carrots and celery with ranch? How about a coleslaw salad with lots of carrots and celery and a ranch-slaw dressing? YES! So here’s my non-recipe recipe.

Pintesting Crock Pot Spicy Buffalo Ranch Chicken

One bag of coleslaw, about half of a bag of shredded carrots, and 3-4 stalks of celery chopped small.

Pintesting Crock Pot Spicy Buffalo Ranch Chicken

For the dressing, I used equal parts of coleslaw dressing and ranch dressing.

Pintesting Crock Pot Spicy Buffalo Ranch Chicken

Toss it all together and serve. That’s 5 minutes for a super yummy salad!

Pintesting Crock Pot Spicy Buffalo Ranch Chicken

We’re trying to lose some weight in my family, so when I asked if the chicken should be served with or without the buns, the unanimous response was without. Here’s our supper, and I have to say it was amazing! Tons of flavor with a nice balance between the coolness of the slaw and the heat from the chicken. It makes a lot, so it’s perfect for sharing. The next time I make this, I will try making buffalo tacos with the combo. Now, for the Pintesting results.

 

The Pintesting Results:

Overall Results: 4.85 Pins

Pintesting Seal 5 Pins

Accuracy:  This captured the fun of Buffalo Wings, but in a form that’s easy to cook and serve without the messy fingers and moist towelettes. My husband and I don’t like lots of heat, so we used the regular buffalo sauce rather than the extra hot. I’d try mild if I could find it. If it’s still too much for your heat index, then try substituting a little barbecue sauce or add a bit of brown sugar. Even though it was spicier than just about anything we usually cook, we couldn’t stop eating – it was that good. 5 Pins

Rated 5 Pins

Difficulty:  Three ingredients, dump, walk away, shred, eat, good. Folks, it doesn’t get much easier than that. 5 Pins

Rated 5 Pins

Time:  I struggled with this because on the one hand, the prep was almost nonexistent. I literally dumped the bag of frozen chicken breasts into the crock pot, poured the bottle of buffalo sauce on top, then sprinkled the ranch mix. Two minutes tops. Once I got home, it took about 3 minutes to open the lid and shred the chicken. That’s 5 minutes, which would normally get 5 Pins. On the other hand, I feel like I have to account for the 8 hours of cook time while I was at work, which would normally get about 2-3 Pins if you were actively cooking for that length of time. I decided to go between the two, and look at it similarly to required chilling time. It’s necessary, but you’re not doing anything so I’m giving this 4 Pins.

Rated 4 Pins

Cost:  The chicken breasts were about $6.50 for the bag and by far the most expensive ingredient. Total cost was about $10.00. But since this makes a lot of food, and will serve a family of 4 with plenty of leftovers, I’m giving it 5 Pins.

Rated 5 Pins

Practicality:  Any crock pot meal is very practical for busy weekdays. The lack of chopping or other prep work makes this recipe even easier to throw together. It would also be PERFECT for a Super Bowl party. This would be great for any kind of party! 5 Pins

Rated 5 Pins