Each January I go through a lot of my paper files to weed out duplicate and unwanted recipes. My kids tell me to get rid of all the paper files and go paperless.

“Scan them into the computer, Mom,” son Jason advised. Well, as I told him, first of all, I already have many recipes on my computer, but I still like the visual aspect of a printed recipe.

If I find a recipe that interests me, I’ll print it out and either put it in my “check this out” file on my desk, or somewhere in the kitchen.

Secondly, I have eight large credenza file drawers stuffed to the gills. Can you imagine what a herculean task that would be to scan even just the relevant ones?

To prove a point, the yummy recipe for Mongolian beef I’m sharing would never have gotten made had I not printed the recipe out when I first saw it. I stuck the recipe in my kitchen drawer where I keep my cutting boards, so I saw it often enough to jog my memory to make it. And it was the perfect easy recipe for after the holidays, when the taste buds are yearning for a little something less rich yet flavorful.

Slow-cooker Mongolian beef

From Reagan Smith Knaus. Reagan and sister Mindy grew up in Cincinnati, with mom and dad Linda and Andy Smith, Anderson Township readers.

Reagan and husband TJ now live in Deerfield, Illinois, and are known for their love of entertaining. Their daughter, Abby, 15, enjoys cooking with Reagan, as well. When I asked Linda if Reagan liked to cook growing up, Linda told me “not really, but when we entertained the girls knew exactly what was happening when I yelled up to them, “Mindy, Reagan, please come here a second.” Linda wanted them to garnish the food, and they learned how parsley, lemon slices or a sprig of rosemary could transform a dish. The seeds were planted and like her mom, Reagan is a creative and inquisitive cook. As Linda says “kitchens are the heartbeat of the family.” I adapted the recipe only slightly. There’s plenty of sauce to soak up the rice.

Ingredients for Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef

  • 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 pounds flank steak, cut across the grain into thin strips
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 generous tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot red chili flakes
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup brown sugar – I used light brown and started out with 1/2 cup, then added a bit more
  • 1 generous tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce or more to taste
  • 1 shredded carrot
  • Cooked rice
  • Green onions, sliced, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Toss steak with cornstarch to coat evenly.
  2. Spray slow cooker with vegetable spray.  
  3. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, brown sugar, ginger, olive oil, water and soy sauce and mix well.
  4. Add steak that has been coated with cornstarch, stir to coat steak evenly with sauce, and cook on high 2-4 hours, until steak is cooked through. Mine was done in 2-1/2 hours.
  5. Stir in carrots during last 30 minutes of cooking time. Taste and add more soy sauce if you like. 
  6. Serve over rice and top with onions.

Tip from Rita’s kitchen:

To give rice even more flavor, use half beef broth and half water to cook it in. Drizzle in some sesame seed oil after rice is cooked. Yum!