Bourbon Seasoning Takes Traditional Beef And Broccoli Up A Few Notches

Beef and broccoli is a Chinese-American recipe popularized in the 1920s on the West Coast, and remains a takeout staple to this day. As far as stir-fry dishes go, beef and broccoli is one of the easiest to duplicate at home, and like most other stir-fry recipes, it's quite adaptable.

There's little else that complements beef better than bourbon. Bourbon braised beef, maple bourbon steak, bourbon beef stew... the list goes on. And while breaking out the bottle is great, try using some bourbon seasoning for a less boozy — but just as flavorful — take on beef and broccoli.

Bourbon seasoning can be found on grocery shelves and is essentially a mix of spices infused with whiskey extractives. It's one of those seasoning blends that hits meat like beef and pork with just the right punch of spicy, sweet, smoky, garlicky relish. Bourbon seasoning is typically flavored with garlic, paprika, molasses or brown sugar, along with the bourbon extractives. You can use bourbon seasoning in a couple of different ways when adding it to your beef and broccoli. Incorporating the seasoning into a marinade works great if you're using flank steak, or you can use a dry rub of seasoning on any lean cut of beef you choose.

Homemade beef and broccoli that's better than takeout

To amp up this takeout-style beef and broccoli recipe, try a rub of bourbon seasoning. Using a dry rub on the meat will help to seal in the natural flavors and create a lovely caramelization on the exterior when you hit it with high heat. You can stir-fry the beef with the onion as suggested, allowing the bourbon seasoning to coat some of the onion as well, ensuring that the sugars in the seasoning mix with the sugars in the onion for a faster, deeper browning.

If you're using flank steak, mix a couple of tablespoons of bourbon seasoning with some water and baking soda or cornstarch and marinate the meat for a couple of hours. This Chinese restaurant trick will tenderize the beef and the bourbon seasoning will kick up the flavors. Other cuts of beef we recommend for beef and broccoli are skirt steak or eye round. While these two options are somewhat tougher than flank steak, they hold up well to a marinade, and you can't beat the affordability. When it comes to beef and broccoli, a lean cut of meat is the best option.

If you're looking for a more subtle bourbon note to this recipe, try adding a pinch of bourbon seasoning directly to the beef and broccoli sauce. The ingredients in this sauce are sugar, mirin, pepper, garlic, ginger, soy, and oyster sauce, and the bourbon flavor harmonizes splendidly with the mirin and ginger.