There are two kinds of orders at a restaurant. You have the “I’m going to try something new” order, which is a little scary but sometimes quite rewarding, or there is the “tried and true” dish order, ordered within the confines of your comfort zone. My orders usually fall into the later category. Olive Garden? I order capellini pomodoro. A steakhouse? Ribeye, baby! Pei Wei or PF Changs? Mongolian Beef (with a chicken lettuce wrap appetizer — man, that sauce is yummy!). Anyway, back in my early Pinterest days, this recipe for Mongolian Beef was one of the first I pinned. Such a yummy dish at home? I should try it.
Original Recipe: Mongolian Beef CrockPot Recipe on Stephanie O’Dea’s website.
Modifications: My youngest has an allergy to both peanuts and sesame seeds, so I substituted sunbutter for the peanut butter and olive oil for the sesame oil. I also realized much too late (like after I’d eaten and was blogging) that I left out the brown sugar. Oops!!
Procedure: The recipe came together easily. The longest time was spent cutting the meat into strips. I threw it all into the pot and cooked it on low. What’s not to love? After a few hours, it smelled yummy in my kitchen. I did stir the beef a couple of times. When it was time for dinner, I boiled some Japanese wheat noodles to serve the beef on, and served roasted brussels sprouts as a side dish.
Verdict: The author wasn’t kidding about doubling the recipe for a big family. I left it with 1.5 pounds of meat, which turned out to be just right, but we ate small portions. The meat didn’t go a long way. The flavor was good. My eldest said she’d eat it again. My husband said it was good, but a little on the salty side (I guess from the soy sauce?). It had a nice kick to it, so naturally my youngest didn’t like it. The only thing I had wished was different is that the meat had more of a pasty feel than a glazed feel — maybe because I left out the sugar, or the oil consistency was too different? Not sure, but I felt like the corn starch made the meat a bit “soggy” if that makes any sense.
So would I make it again? Yes, maybe using vegetable oil instead of olive and making sure not to forget the sugar next time!