Broccoli Beef!

So I know this doesn’t follow my caveman concept of cooking with ingredients the normal man (or woman) has in their pantry or fridge. Recently I have been experimenting with Asian foods and ingredients, and have found that keeping a couple of key items in the pantry helps with the creation.  The oyster sauce and fresh ginger can be stored in the fridge for weeks and they can be used in many other dishes.

What you will need for beef marinade:

  • ¾ lb. beef strips, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar (or substitute cooking sherry)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Combine all the above ingredients and put them into fridge until you are ready to use.

What you will need for the sauce:

  • 3 tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • ¼ cup chicken broth

Combine all the above ingredients and stir. Just let it sit until you are ready to use.

Final Ingredients for Broccoli Beef Mixture:

  • ¾ lb. broccoli florets
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil (or enough to coat bottom of pan)

Prepare Broccoli:  

Fill a large stock pot with salted water and warm to medium high heat.

**Caveman Tip:  Because the water takes so long to boil – I like to bring it to a medium high heat while you’re getting the other ingredients ready because it warms the water and gets it near boiling temps.  That way, when we’re ready for the broccoli, we won’t have to wait on the water…it will be close.

Separate the broccoli florets from the large bunch and set them aside until you’re ready for them.

Prepare Beef

**Caveman MUST: about 10 minutes before you’re ready to cook the beef, pull it from the fridge and bring up to room temperature.

Using a large metal skillet or wok, heat the vegetable oil to medium high heat.  You want the steaks to sear, but not burn.  Lay the beef strips in the pan, giving them plenty of space between one another.  **Caveman Tip:  Overcrowding the beef strips will cause the pan to lose too much heat, and you want to get a good sear on your beef, so spacing is crucial! Otherwise you could boil your meat. (not good) You may need to cook a couple of rounds of beef in the pan to do it right.

 

(At some point you may want to get your water up to a boil now)

Cook the strips of beef about 1 minute per side, allowing for a good sear on each side.  Then remove the beef strips from heat.  (Repeat the process until they are all done)  When on your last bunch of beef strips, combine all beef together, and add ginger.  Stir frequently for a minute, this is just to cook the ginger. Add your Sauce to the beef mixture and bring temperature up to a boil.

Scrape all the goodness off the bottom of the pan and stir frequently.  This will help thicken the sauce. Cook the meat mixture over high heat until the sauce is reduced by half and the sauce has started to thicken.

At this point you will want to drop the broccoli in the boiling water. It will only take a minute to cook, you want to the broccoli to be firm and crisp because it will continue to cook even after you pull it from the water.

**Caveman Tip:  The most common mistake people make when cooking vegetables is they over cook them to a mush.  I like to pull them early because they will continue to cook even while sitting on the plate. Some people prefer to shock them in ice water to stop the cooking process but then you have to warm them back up.

Combine Broccoli and Beef:

Add your broccoli to the beef mixture & remove it from the heat.

 

Serve with Caveman’s “Go-to white rice”

 

Cavemans Go To Rice

What you will need:

  • ½ cup white onion, diced
  • ½ cup celery, diced
  • ½ cup baby bell peppers, diced
  • 1/2 cup mushroom chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 ¼ cup long grain white rice
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. Montreal steak seasoning (optional)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • Chicken bouillon (¼ cube optional)

 

Sauté:

 

Sauté the onions, celery, baby bell peppers, mushrroms & a pinch of salt in butter until soft; stirring often.  Continue cooking under medium heat.  Add rice to mixture and stir.  Add parsley, Montreal steak seasoning and chicken bouillon, cook over medium heat until the rice is light brown.  **Caveman Tip – Do not burn your rice!! Stir your rice constantly.  Make sure it gets coated with all the ingredients.  Taste your rice mixture. If needed, add a pinch of salt.

 

Cook

Once the rice has soaked up all the goodness, add chicken broth and water, then kick up the temperature to high heat.  You want to get the rice to a rolling boil.  **Caveman Tip: Taste your liquid,  this is what your rice will taste like, so add pepper or seasoning as desired.  You shouldn’t need any salt as the chicken bouillon will add that in.

 

Once the rice has reached a rolling boil, give it one final stir and cover with lid.  Now reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer.  **Caveman Tip: I like to cook my rice closer to medium heat than low heat, so find that perfect setting.  For some reason – this makes the rice a little firmer and the benefit is better texture, rather than soggy rice.

 

Rice Cooking 101: NEVER remove the lid during the cooking process.  If possible, use a clear lid so you can monitor that the liquid will be absorbed fully.

 

Once the liquid is absorbed (temperatures may very so it’s hard to gauge a timeframe, so KEEP your eye on the liquid). If I had to guess – I’d say 8-10 minutes.

Once the water is absorbed, and the rice is no longer bubbling up top, remove from heat source, and let it sit covered, for at least 5 minutes.  **Caveman Tip:  This allows the residual heat in the pan to continue to cook the rice, without burning the rice on the bottom of the pan. I like to leave the rice sitting with the lid on until the rest of the meal is ready to serve; it also keeps the rice warm.

 

When your ready, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork, and serve!

Lees Ferry Stuffed Pork Chops

When we are on trips where I am making dinners, I like to buy ingredients that I can use with multiple dishes. My cheesy potato au gratin dish goes well with this because they use the same ingredients. We also opted for burgers one night using the bacon, swiss, and jalapenos.

What you will need (this makes enough for 4 pork chops):
• 2 strips of bacon, browned and chopped
• 1 jalapeno, chopped
• ¼ cup white onion
• ¼ cup parmesan cheese
• ¼ cup swiss cheese
• 4 Pork Chops
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Salt & Pepper
• 1 tbsp. Marjoram
• 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
Prepare Stuffing:

Start off by sautéing the jalapeno and onion in a light amount of olive oil until soft. Combine parmesan, swiss, bacon, onions and jalapeno mixture in a bowl.

 

Prepare pork chop:

Create a pocket in your pork chops by thinly slicing ¾ of the way through the chop. (see picture) Unfortunately for us – our rental place at Marble Canyon Lodge did not have any good knives…so caveman had to clean his fly fishing knife and use that.

Spread your sliced chops open and stuff a good amount of the stuffing mixture inside. Repeat for all chops.
Once they are stuffed, season the exterior of the pork chops with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, and top with marjoram and garlic powder. You can store them in the fridge until ready to grill.

Grill.

Get your coals or propane grill good and hot before putting the chops on. You want to get a good sear on them to seal in those flavors and juices. Once you get that sear, move them off the direct heat and continue to cook indirectly for 5 to 10 minutes depending on the size of the chop. At this point I like to cook them with the cover down on the grill or cover the chops with something if you are cooking on a open top grill. (If you are using propane, the temp should be roughly 350)
The chops won’t take long to cook because you have basically have turned them into two smaller chops by opening up the middle. I always have my quick read thermometer with me so just check the temp. and pull them when they ready. I like to remove them from the grill at 150 degrees, cover them and then let them rest for at least 5 minutes. This allows the pork to finish cooking without drying out.