cookbook challenge: episode 4

The 4th book I chose to work from was Crockery Cookery by Mabel Hoffman. This is an old cookbook and came from my stepdad’s mom. She gave me a few gigantic boxes, it might take a lifetime to work through all of them!

Looking in general cookbooks is a little rough since we don’t eat much pasta or potato-heavy things. I want primarily meat/veggie heavy recipes. I was looking for something a little different from the 45 variations of Mexican food I make and settled on:

Chinese Pepper Steak

1-1 1/2 lbs boneless beef round steak
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tbls. hoisin sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1 tomato, seeded, peeled & diced
2 red or green bell peppers, cut into strips
3 Tbls. cornstarch
3 Tbls. water
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
4 green onions, finely chopped
Cooked Rice

Trim fat from steak; slice into thin strips. Combine steak, garlic, salt, pepper, soy sauce, hoisin sauce and sugar in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW about 4 hours. Turn control to HIGH. Add tomato and bell peppers. Dissolve cornstarch with water in a small bowl and stir into steak mixture. Cover and cook on HIGH 15-20 minutes or until thickened. Stir in bean sprouts, sprinkle with onions. Serve with rice.


I didn’t have hoisin sauce so I just skipped it and added some ground ginger. I also had no idea what I was doing when cutting the steak (I think I had a stroke) because they ended up in french fry shaped slivers. And I totally blanked on the bean sprouts. I don’t even know where I’d find a fresh bean sprout. Aaand I ran out of soy sauce, so I used half soy sauce/half teriyaki sauce.

So a pretty simple recipe. I made the rice Sunday night, prepped everything for the crockpot and let it go all day Monday. I have a programmable crockpot, so it cooked for 4 hours but then stayed warm for another 7-8 and I think that dried out the meat. It was okay, but a little dry. I wasn’t home to mix the cornstarch in so Keith just ate it without it Monday night. For dinner last night, I poured all the sauce out of the crockpot and reheated it, adding cornstarch, not sure it added much to it, haha.


this picture is sideways, but it wouldn’t have looked much different if I flipped it, so I’m leaving it.

I added some Sriracha to my bowl, because why not.

If I made it again, I would cut the steak differently, (they should have said slice into beef jerky slices, that would have made a lot more sense to me). I’d also add more veggies at the end, and this is one of those annoying crockpot meals you have to make while you are at home so the meat doesn’t overcook. Probably 2.5 stars.

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