What’s for Dinner Wednesday: Mongolian Beef (Take Two)

2 Oct
This was so good, I almost forgot to take a picture of it!

This was so good, I almost forgot to take a picture of it!

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

As you probably know by now, I’ve been making crock pot meals approximately four times a week, as a means of getting us through this fall sports schedule (which ends at the end of October for us).

So far, it’s been working out well, allowing me to “cook” meals that are ready when we get home from whatever we’re at, arriving home in time for dinner even though no one was here to cook dinner. I’m lucky, in that I am usually home from work at lunch time most days, so I set my dinner up at that time and let it go when I go back to work. Depending on when we need to eat, I put it in anywhere between 10 am and noon.

A week or two back, however, we had a crock pot debacle. As I was making the Who Needs a Cape Mongolian Beef, one we were really looking forward to, I licked the spatula before throwing it into the sink (AFTER I’d used it) and realized the Hoison sauce I’d bought was VERY VERY spicy. I was nervous for the outcome. I even watered down the sauce during the cooking time.

I kept my fingers crossed that it’d work out for the best, but it didn’t. It was so spicy. No one really liked it.

I wrote “BLECH” on my recipe sheet and prepared to throw it in recycling.

I was so disappointed. We’d really been looking forward to this one.

However, when I shared the news with my friend Gina, she asked what kind of Hoison sauce I used. When I told her, she looked it up and found that it contained red hot chili peppers.

Just like the band from the 90’s.

Red

Hot

Chili

Peppers

Yikes.

We’re not spicy food lovers here, most of us.

I decided to try the recipe again, because both Gina and another friend of mine, Amy, had both tried it and proclaimed it to be as amazing as we’d thought it would be; a top favorite on their lists of meals.

I went to the store, I turned all the Hoison sauce bottles around so that I could see the ingredients. I found one with chili peppers. That one was definitely out. I found another that said “slightly spicy.” Forget it.

I finally chose one that seemed safe and decided that this week we’d give it another try.

This Monday night, we did.

SUCCESS!!!!

It was sooooooo good. Totally delicious.

And, there was a little bit left, just enough for my lunch on Tuesday, and guess what??

It was even better the second day! The flavor was bursting! I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch.

We served our beef with our usual Chinese Fried Rice, but I also added a batch of quinoa as one of our side dish offerings. Personally, I love mixing the quinoa with the rice, and that’s what I did with the Mongolian Beef. It was fabulous.

So the lesson learned is two-fold: 1) check the ingredient labels when buying a new sauce, and 2) don’t give up!

I’m so glad we tried the Who Needs A Cape Mongolian Beef again, it’s most definitely a keeper!!

I’ve linked to the recipe twice in this post, and I’m putting her recipe below as well. I hope you’ll give it a try, and remember, if you don’t like spicy, CHECK YOUR LABELS!

WHO NEEDS A CAPE
MONGOLIAN BEEF

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. stew meat
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, thickly sliced
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh minced ginger
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce

Instructions

  1. Freezer directions- dump all ingredients into a labeled freezer bag, seal, mix up, freeze flat. It’s as easy as that!
  2. When you’re ready to cook- take the bag out of the freezer the night before and let it defrost in the fridge. The next morning dump the bag into the crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. If you’re going to be longer just add a bit more water so it doesn’t dry out. Serve with fresh slice green onions and rice. Yum!
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