Paleo Beef and Broccoli
Dive into the delicious world of Paleo Beef and Broccoli, a dish that’s not just tasty but perfectly paleo-friendly! Combining succulent beef with crisp broccoli in a mouth-watering sauce, this recipe is a healthier twist on a classic takeout favorite.
Looking for variety? Check out our Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry and Shrimp Broccoli Stir Fry – delightful variations that promise equal flavor and excitement. Discover expert tips, tricks, and the reasons behind over 200 five-star reviews. It’s time to elevate your stir-fry game!
Now that we’re all set to cook, let’s first take a peek at what goes into our healthy beef broccoli stir fry. Each ingredient here is chosen carefully to bring out those awesome flavors and make our dish both healthy and tasty. Here are the ingredients we’ll be using:
- Skirt Steak, Flank, or Sirloin Steak: Chosen for their lean texture and robust flavor, perfect for quick stir-frying.
- Coconut Aminos: Adds a rich, umami flavor, ideal for marinades and sauces; coconut aminos are a great soy-free, paleo-friendly option. Learn more from my YouTube video about what is coconut aminos.
- Fish Sauce: Imparts a unique depth and saltiness, enhancing the overall savoriness of the dish.
- Toasted Sesame Oil: Contributes a nutty aroma and taste, adding complexity to both the marinade and the sauce.
- Ground Black Pepper: Offers a subtle heat and sharpness, complementing the meat and vegetables. Can use pre-ground or freshly ground like my black pepper beef.
- Baking Soda: Used in velveting the beef to tenderize and maintain moisture for a silky texture.
- Tapioca Starch/Tapioca flour (or Arrowroot Starch/arrowroot flour): Thickens the marinade and sauce, and also helps in creating a light, crispy coating on the beef.
- Avocado Oil: A healthy, high-heat cooking oil, ideal for stir-frying without overpowering the dish’s flavors.
- Broccoli Florets: Add a crunchy texture and a dose of healthy greens to the dish.
- Fresh Garlic: Infuses a pungent, aromatic flavor essential in stir-fry dishes.
- Fresh ginger root: Adds a spicy, zesty kick that brightens the overall flavor profile.
- Optional Garnish: diced green onions and toasted sesame seeds, optional
Substitutions and variations
If you’re not sensitive to soy and are seeking gluten-free seasoning options, check out my extensive list of gluten-free seasonings in my Chinese pantry staples. Here’s how you can tweak the recipe:
- Regular (Light) Soy Sauce: Use half the amount compared to coconut aminos to achieve a similar flavor balance.
- Dark Soy Sauce: It adds a savory and caramelized touch to the sauce. You can substitute it for fish sauce in this Whole30 stir-fry for enhanced depth.
- Sugar: Since soy sauce is sharper and less sweet than coconut aminos, consider adding a bit of coconut sugar or keto-friendly sugar to offset the saltiness.
How to make Whole30 beef and broccoli
Ready to cook yummy Beef and Broccoli paleo friendly? First, we’ll make a tasty beef stir fry marinade. This makes the beef super flavorful. We’ll also learn how to velvet beef for tender stir-fry. This means our beef will be tender and flavorful. Let’s get started on these easy steps!
- Prepare the Beef: Thinly slice your chosen beef cut against the grain at a 45-degree angle for tender pieces.
- Marinate: Combine beef slices with coconut aminos (or light soy sauce), fish sauce, sesame oil, black pepper, baking soda, and tapioca starch. Mix gently and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes to marinate. You can learn more from my beef stir fry marinade article.
- Broccoli Prep: Place broccoli florets in a microwave-safe bowl with a bit of water. Microwave on high for 1.5 minutes, stirring halfway through. Drain and set aside.
- Aromatic Prep: Finely mince the garlic and ginger, and mix your stir-fry sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
- Sear the Beef: Preheat a large skillet. Add oil and seared beef in a single layer, cooking for about 2 minutes until golden brown, then flip and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Remove from the pan. See our How to stir fry in stainless steel pan article to learn more.
- Vegetable Sauté: In the same pan, add a bit more oil and sauté garlic and ginger for 10 seconds. Add broccoli, stirring and cooking for another minute.
- Combine and Finish: Increase heat, return the beef to the pan, and add the stir-fry sauce. Toss everything together for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Serve hot, ideally with rice.
Choosing and Preparing the Best Beef for Stir Fry
Picking the right beef is the first step to a delicious stir fry. The ideal cuts are lean, not too moist, and full of flavor. Once you’ve got the perfect beef, slicing it correctly is key for tender stir fry. Here are the top beef cuts for stir fry and tips on how to slice them:
Top Beef Cuts for Stir Fry:
- Skirt Steak: Tops the list for its leanness and ease of slicing thinly. It has low moisture, giving it a nice sear.
- Sirloin Tip: Very lean and tender, this cut boasts a rich beefy flavor.
- Flank Steak: A lean option that’s easy to slice, with just the right amount of fat.
- Top Sirloin Steak: Tender and not too moist.
- Rump Steak (or Round Steak): Lean and flavorful, excellent for stir fry.
- Hanger Steak: Not as common, but a great lean cut that’s perfect for thin slicing and has a strong, smokey taste.
- Angle and Thickness: Hold your knife at 45 degrees for wider, flatter slices. Aim for about ⅛-inch thickness.
- Against the Grain: Always slice against the grain to ensure tenderness.
Knife Choice and Preparation for Thinly Slicing Beef:
- Best Knife Type: A 9″ Slicer (slicing knife) or a carving knife is ideal for this task. These knives offer greater control and make it easier to maneuver and slice the beef thinly at an angle.
- Why They Work Well: Their long, narrow blades are perfect for making clean, consistent slices. This is crucial for achieving the desired thinness in stir fry beef.
- Preparation Tip: For even easier slicing, try flash-freezing the beef for about 30 minutes before cutting. This firms up the meat, making precise cuts simpler to achieve.
How to make ahead, store, and reheat
Love having meals ready in a snap? Our Whole 30 Beef and Broccoli can be prepared ahead, stored for later, and reheated easily. Here’s how to keep this delicious dish fresh and tasty for your next meal:
- Prep the Beef: Slice your beef and give it a sprinkle of baking soda.
- Marinate: Mix oil, starch, and coconut aminos in a small bowl. Coat the beef with this mixture and let it sit for at least 15 minutes, or you can leave it overnight in the fridge.
- In the Fridge: Once cooked, store your beef and broccoli in an airtight container. It stays good in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
What to serve with paleo broccoli beef
Looking for the perfect sides to accompany your healthy beef and broccoli stir fry? Here are some great options, neatly categorized into vegetables, soups, and rice dishes
- Serve with vegetables: Enhance your meal with some greens by trying Garlic Broccoli Stir Fry or Chinese Broccoli Stir Fry. For a refreshing twist, the Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad is a must-try.
- Soups: Complement the whole30 beef stir-fry with a warm bowl of West Lake Beef Soup, Wonton Egg Drop Soup, or Tomato Egg Drop Soup. Each offers a unique flavor that pairs wonderfully with the main dish.
- Pair with rice: Round off your meal with a hearty rice dish. Options like Air Fryer Rice, Steak Fried Rice, Panda Express Fried Rice, Shirataki Fried Rice, or riced broccoli fried rice and cauliflower rice are all fantastic choices to complete your feast.
- Choose the Right Beef Cut: Opt for lean cuts like skirt steak, sirloin tip, or flank steak. These cuts are easy to slice thinly and absorb marinade well, crucial for a tender stir-fry.
- Slicing Technique Matters: Always slice the beef against the grain at a 45-degree angle. This ensures each piece is tender and cooks evenly.
- Velveting the Beef: Marinate the beef with baking soda, coconut aminos (or light soy sauce), and tapioca starch. This process, known as velveting, is key to achieving a tender texture.
- Preheat the Skillet: Ensure your skillet is hot enough before adding ingredients. Use the water drop test or hand test to gauge the right temperature for that perfect sear.
- Blanching Broccoli for Crispness: Blanch broccoli to get it crisp-tender. Use a microwave for speed or hot water for traditional blanching. Always drain well before adding to the stir-fry to keep the sauce thick.
- Marinade Proportions: If substituting coconut aminos with soy sauce, use half the amount. Adjust the saltiness and sweetness balance as needed.
- Storage and Reheating: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. For reheating, use the microwave on medium for about 1 minute for the best texture.
- Knife Choice: Use a 9″ slicer or carving knife for precision and control when slicing the beef. Consider flash-freezing the beef for easier slicing.
To tenderize beef for stir fry, marinate it in a mixture of baking soda, cornstarch, potato starch, or tapioca starch, oil, and soy sauce. Then, pan-sear in a hot sauté pan for a less greasy, home-friendly version.
Soy sauce adds flavor but doesn’t significantly tenderize meat. Its salt content helps retain moisture, but for true tenderizing, combine it with ingredients like baking soda.
Chinese beef and broccoli sauce typically includes soy sauce, oyster sauce, beef broth, sugar, garlic, and cornstarch for thickening. It’s savory with a hint of sweetness.
Broccoli beef can be healthy, particularly if making it at home. It combines lean protein from beef and nutrients from broccoli. To enhance healthiness, use low-sodium soy sauce and limit added sugars and oils.
More paleo beef stir fry recipes you might like
Exploring more ways to enjoy more healthy paleo and whole30 beef stir fries? Here are some delicious variations that pack a punch with flavors and nutrition, perfect for keeping your meals exciting and healthy:
- Broccoli Beef Kabobs: A fun and easy twist, combining tender marinated beef and broccoli on skewers, perfect for grilling.
- Sha Cha Beef: This Taiwanese dish blends beef with the unique taste of Sha Cha sauce, offering a rich, savory experience.
- Paleo Mongolian Beef: A paleo take on the classic, featuring succulent beef in a flavorful, slightly sweet sauce.
Paleo beef and broccoli recipe
- 12 oz broccoli florets
- 2 large cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 thin pieces ginger root, finely minced
How to slice the beef:
- Thinly slice the beef against the grain at a 45 degree angle. Each slice should be a little thicker than ⅛ inch but thinner than ¼ inch in thickness.
Quick beef stir fry marinade:
- In a bowl, add the ingredients from beef to starch. Gently mix them well and set aside in the fridge for 10-15 minutes or up to 24 hours.
Prepare broccoli and aromatics:
- Place the broccoli florets in a large microwave safe bowl with 2 tablespoon water. Cover the bowl with a saran wrap or microwave cover and microwave on high for 1.5 minutes total. Stir the bowl half way through cooking. Remove, drain, and set the broccoli aside to cool.
- Finely mince the garlic abd ginger, and combine the stir fry sauce in a small bowl.
Preheat the pan:
- Preheat a 12 inch large saute pan over medium heat. Carefully place your hand 2.5-3 inches away from the pan surface to test the temperature. When it feels too warm to place your hand nearby, the skillet is ready. If your panis overheated (i.e. smoking), simply set it aside for a few minutes to cool down a bit.
Sear the beef:
- Add 1 tbsp oil. Add the beef and quickly spread them out into a single layer. You should hear sizzling sound. This means your pan temperature is correct. Pan sear the beef over medium-high heat without disturbing for about 2 minutes or until the beef is in golden brown color. Some beef slices might overlap with one another and that’s totally okay.
- Use a spatula with a firm tip to flip the beef and sear the flip side for 30 seconds extra. Please don’t over cook the beef or they will turn watery. Turn off heat. Transfer the beef and the pan juice onto a serving plate to set aside.
Saute the vegetables:
- Use the same pan, add the remaining 0.5 tbsp oil. Saute the garlic and ginger over medium heat for 10 seconds then add the broccoli florets and keep tossing and stir-frying for 1 minute.
Combine and add sauce:
- Turn heat up to medium-high. Return the beef to the pan. Stir the sauce again and pour it into the pan. Give everything a quick toss to combine well, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Turn off the heat. Transfer to a large serving plate. Serve hot with rice.
- Make-Ahead Tips: Prep the Beef: Slice your beef and give it a sprinkle of baking soda. Marinate: Mix oil, starch, and coconut aminos in a small bowl. Coat the beef with this mixture and let it sit for at least 15 minutes, or you can leave it overnight in the fridge.
- Storing: In the Fridge: Once cooked, store your beef and broccoli in an airtight container. It stays good in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
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