In the summer, the only cooking I do at home is grilling. When I’m not working, I’m outside, thinking about what I can grill. Recently, I got into a grilled spatchcock chicken rut and wanted to do something completely different. I had some friends over a few weekends ago and wanted to throw them a little food curve ball. I took some inspiration from one of my favorite takeout meals: beef and broccoli. You know the kind: The meal is a little mushy due to sitting in the white takeout container, yet still strangely satisfying.
I was happy with my test drive at home (and so were my friends), but I knew it needed a little work. So I took my notes back into the test kitchen and got to work.
The most important thing is the sauce. I needed to incorporate all the same flavors that make takeout beef and broccoli so good. But in a grilled version, you can’t simmer the sauce. Instead, I used a marinade to get the flavor inside the meat. Then, I used the marinade as a baste that would help the broccoli steam and soften up on the grill… and flavor bomb the florets at the same time.
I chose flank steak because it grills quickly, is delicious, and absorbs marinades really well. In fact, it takes less time to make this than to order takeout. Plus, it keeps my only-grill-in-the-summer mantra alive.
Grilled Beef With Broccoli
You’ll get all the traditional flavors of the classic takeout dish by using a marinade made up of oyster sauce, Shaoxing wine, and soy sauce, but the steak and broccoli are grilled for a fresh summertime variation.
6 garlic cloves, grated
1 3-inch piece ginger, peeled, grated
¾ cup oyster sauce
¾ cup Shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine)
¾ cup soy sauce
¼ cup toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons mild-flavored (light) molasses
3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
1½ pounds flank steak
2 medium heads of broccoli (about 1 pound), stems peeled, heads halved lengthwise
Sliced scallions, toasted sesame seeds, and cooked white rice (for serving)
Whisk garlic, ginger, oyster sauce, wine, soy sauce, oil, molasses, and vinegar in a medium bowl. Place steak in a large resealable plastic bag and pour in 2 cups marinade; set remaining marinade aside. Seal bag, turn to coat, and let steak marinate in refrigerator at least 1 hour and up to 12.
Prepare a gas grill for 2-zone heat; set one burner at medium and one or two burners at medium-high. Alternatively, prepare a charcoal grill for medium-high heat. Grill steak over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until charred, 3–5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes. Slice against the grain into ½”-thick strips.
Meanwhile, stir ½ cup reserved marinade and ½ cup water in a small bowl to combine. Brush broccoli all over (crowns and stems) with some of the thinned marinade. Grill over medium heat, turning occasionally and basting frequently with thinned marinade, until charred and tender, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a plater and let cool slightly before breaking into large pieces.
Divide steak and broccoli among plates. Top with scallions and sesame seeds. Serve with rice and remaining marinade alongside.
Recipe by Rick Martinez
Photograph by Photo by Laura Murray, styling by Judy Mancini