• 1 1/2 lbs flank steak, thinly sliced and cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 1 cup beef broth

  • ? cup low-sodium soy sauce

  • ? cup brown sugar

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced

  • 1 tsp red chili flakes

  • 4 cups broccoli florets, steamed

  • 2 tbsp corn starch + 4 tbsp cold water

Before I moved to Chattanooga, I considered myself quite well-versed in the world of ordering takeout. Prior to moving here, I lived in Atlanta, Midtown to be exact. I loved it. Sure, traffic in Atlanta has room for improvement, but for the most part, I had a great seven-year run there. Living in Midtown, I had lots of options to consider when it came to dinner. Whether it was trying out a delicious restaurant in close proximity, like Holeman and Finch, or late-night eats from places like R. Thomas, I was there. I was also a huge fan of ordering Chinese takeout and enjoying it in the comforts of my own home with an adult beverage (preferably champagne). One of my favorite Chinese restaurants, which is still in existence, is open until 6 a.m. I’m sure you’re wondering why I would be eating Chinese food at 6 in the morning, but let’s just say I was in my 20s and didn’t get a lot of sleep.

Despite my love for late-night Chinese eats, it wasn’t all good for me. Coming from a family who has had some concerns about sodium consumption and high blood pressure, I knew eating foods high in MSG wasn’t something I could continue doing. Now I’m older, possibly a little wiser and trying to recreate some of my takeout favorites, which brings me to today’s recipe. I never ordered beef and broccoli as my takeout meal, but my husband likes it so I figured I’d oblige at least once.

Here’s the best thing about this recipe (besides the flavor): It’s made in a slow cooker. This is a huge bonus for me simply because during the holidays we’re constantly running around and it’s a dinner that doesn’t force me to stay in the kitchen forever.

Lightly brush the inside of your slow cooker with a bit of olive oil. Add steak, broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, olive oil, garlic and chili flakes. If you’re not a fan of spice, you can eliminate the chili flakes or use less (1/4 teaspoon).

Cover and cook for 2-3 hours on high. You could also cook it on low for 4-5 hours.

When there’s about 20 minutes left in the cooking process, whisk the cornstarch and water until dissolved and add to the slow cooker; stir. Add in the steamed broccoli. This allows the broccoli to absorb some of the sauce the steak has been simmering in. It will also cook the broccoli just a bit more. If you’re not into this idea, wait until you’re ready to serve the meal before adding in the broccoli.

Serve over rice and enjoy with a glass of champagne or a beer.

Shawanda Mason is the creator and blogger of Eat.Drink.Frolic. For recipe questions or to chat about eating, drinking or frolicking, she can be reached at [email protected] or by following her on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not or its employees.