Chinese Style Braised Beef

23 Jul

I wish I had a “taste-o-blog” or a “screen-sniff” option, because the photo of this dish really doesn´t do it justice.

During Operation Clear Out The Freezer, I came across a piece of stewing beef. It´s not really casserole weather here right now, but I knew I´d need to give it a long slow cook.  Inspired by the success of the flavours in my Pork Belly dish, I decided to head to the Orient for my ingredients.  Adapted from a BBC Good Food Recipe, this is a beautiful, prepare ahead dish which is even better the next day and would work really well too with pork. I served it simply with basmati rice and steamed runner beans.

Ingredients (to serve 4)

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil for frying
  • Beef for slow cooking (my piece weighed about 1 kilo) cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1 large onion
  • 50g peeled fresh ginger
  • 6 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 2 heaped tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 4 whole star anise
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 80g brown sugar
  • 50ml soy sauce
  • 50ml of dry sherry (or use rice wine or water)
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • About half a cup of chicken stock (or beef if you have it, otherwise water)

Heat the oil in an ovenproof dish and seal the meat on all sides (in batches if necessary). Remove the meat and reserve in a separate bowl.

Blitz the onion, garlic and ginger to a paste with a little water in a food processor then fry gently in the same pan you used for the meat until it has softened. Add the five spice, star anise and ground pepper then after a minute add the sugar, soy sauce, wine and tomato purée. Add the beef to the pan with any juices then add just enough stock to cover the meat.

Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer then cook either very slowly on the stove top for a couple of hours or on the lowest oven setting for about 3 hours.

When the time is up, remove the meat from the sauce then turn up the heat and reduce the sauce to your preferred consistency.

When you are ready to serve (and even better if you can make this a day ahead) pour the sauce over the meat and enjoy.


57 Responses to “Chinese Style Braised Beef”

  1. Marianne July 23, 2012 at 11:34 #

    My mouth is watering as I read this! I must give it a try – thanks for the recipe idea. 🙂

  2. thecompletecookbook July 23, 2012 at 11:42 #

    Oh la la – now this is my kind of meal – SCRUMITY!!!
    I am sure I have some pork short ribs or the like in the freezer – will go scrounge around – if so, will be making this ASAP! Will let you know how it goes…
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Chica Andaluza July 23, 2012 at 11:58 #

      I think this would be so good with pork short ribs – the meat would be falling off the bones and you could lick all that lovely sauce off your fingers and get into a lovely, delicious mess 🙂

  3. Roger Stowell July 23, 2012 at 12:00 #

    I love those deep, dark colours that normally herald deep, dark flavours.

    • Chica Andaluza July 23, 2012 at 13:01 #

      I know you´re not much of a meat eater, but if ever the urge strikes can really recommend this for (as you say) those deep, dark flavours….

  4. Eha July 23, 2012 at 13:17 #

    A beautiful dish, even if it refuses to photograph well. I had just finished watching the local Oz Masterchef [finals week and very good this year, best of all the seasons] before coming back to the computer, and two of the five finalists made variations on the theme tonight. This is one of my favourite slow-cooked dishes: I actually mix medium soy sauce with kecap manis half/half, and usually use medium dry sherry rather than the ever popular dry one: more depth of flavour. Must try with more star anise – I only use 1-2, and I am sure it can take more! Thanks for the recipe 🙂 !

    • Chica Andaluza July 23, 2012 at 13:57 #

      I think the original recipe called for 6 star anise..too many for me! Love your tips, very tasty 🙂

  5. expatchef July 23, 2012 at 13:26 #

    I think it looks bloody delicious! And I bet it tasted and smelled divine! Yum….I think I will make this in winter, cannot possibly fathom slow cooking in this heat….kudos to you my dear!

    • Chica Andaluza July 23, 2012 at 13:58 #

      I escaped for the morning to avoid the heat – but the flavours were amazing and well worth “sweating”!

  6. gardenfreshtomatoes July 23, 2012 at 13:55 #

    Smell-o-blog would do me in right now…love those flavors! 🙂

  7. TBM July 23, 2012 at 14:20 #

    Where do I sign up! Looks good and we just cleaned out our freezer. But nothing exciting like this resulted.

  8. Promenade Claire July 23, 2012 at 15:38 #

    I love the flavours – star anise, soy, 5 spice. But I see you managed to have your main dish with a side of runner beans, way to go, sneak them in at every opportunity 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza July 24, 2012 at 00:25 #

      My freezer overfloweth with runner beans, so they are appearing everywhere!

  9. PendleStitches July 23, 2012 at 16:09 #

    Yumsk! And a prepare ahead dish to boot. I love those!

    • Chica Andaluza July 24, 2012 at 00:26 #

      Always good to have prepare ahead dishes…even better when they taste this good 🙂

  10. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen July 23, 2012 at 16:25 #

    I love that combination of spices.. 5 Spice, Ginger, and Star Anise.. I can just imagine the pungent aroma and the heady flavors in this dish. I haven’t had something like this in a long while.. yum!! xx

    • Chica Andaluza July 24, 2012 at 00:26 #

      It was giving off amazing smells as it cooked, and the taste was even better!

  11. ChgoJohn July 23, 2012 at 17:22 #

    This really does sound delicious, Tanya, especially with 5 spice & star anise. I bet this would be better on day 2, once it’s had a chance to sit a spell. I’d be tempted to put a few pieces of beef aside. Once shredded, they’d make a great sandwich and perfect for lunch. I need to give this recipe a try once out weather cools a bit. 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza July 24, 2012 at 00:27 #

      You´re so right, this improves the next day. And I can imagine using it the next day to make an amazing sandwich in a big fat ciabatta roll!

  12. Mad Dog July 23, 2012 at 19:16 #

    That does sound good and the smell of those ingredients do make you feel hungry while you wait 😉

    • Chica Andaluza July 24, 2012 at 01:13 #

      It certainly does – the anticipation is half the fun!

  13. TheDorsetFinca July 23, 2012 at 19:48 #

    We are having a bit of a beef and noodle revival here at the moment. We do a chilli beef dish which is on a weekly rotation – but your recipe may just shake things up a bit. Thank you!! x

    • Chica Andaluza July 24, 2012 at 01:15 #

      Ooh chilli beef – we need to see the recipe as I know I would love that!

  14. DianeT July 23, 2012 at 23:02 #

    Wow this looks perfect for our damp cold weather at the moment. Add to that, I’m specifically collecting new recipes that feature spices at the moment – so thanks for this, T.

    • Chica Andaluza July 24, 2012 at 01:16 #

      This is sophisticated (but not difficult) comfort food! We loved it 🙂

  15. kalamitykelli July 24, 2012 at 04:59 #

    This looks so great! YUM!

    • Chica Andaluza July 24, 2012 at 08:25 #

      Thanks Kelli – it was super tasty and definitely a recipe to be used over and over again!

  16. Tandy July 24, 2012 at 09:16 #

    oh yum! I also sometimes wish for a sniffoscreen 🙂

  17. ceciliag July 24, 2012 at 12:44 #

    Oh I love the idea of a sniff a blog.. wouldn’t that be grand! and these good old recipes are hard to beat.. c

  18. Karen July 24, 2012 at 13:06 #

    Love the flavor combination…I’m sure the aroma was as terrific as the taste.

    • Chica Andaluza July 24, 2012 at 16:31 #

      I can almost smell it now just thinking abot it 😉

  19. ambrosiana July 24, 2012 at 14:46 #

    Love the taste-o-blog ans screen-sniff idea! This dish must have great aromas and flavors!

    • Chica Andaluza July 24, 2012 at 16:33 #

      We were enjoy this dish for hours before we even got to taste it!

  20. narf77 July 24, 2012 at 23:37 #

    I don’t eat meat but remember when I did (23 years ago lol) and this is EXACTLY the sort of way that I loved it. Pork belly was a firm favourite (and perhaps that is why my rear end had trouble fitting through the door back then lol) and Chinese style slow cooking was my forte. These sort of nondescript looking things are a Chinese specialty. They make all of the best tasting things look slightly “meh…” so that people who are not in the know head for the sad saucy pineapple laced fluff and never get to savour the heavenly flavour of braised pork belly, chicken feet and offal…Anthony Bourdain outed them in his typically American blunt way but its our job to continue making them look nondescript and hide them behind the steamed rice and brightly coloured “tourist food” at banquets so that we can put them tenderly back into the fridge with a large spoon so that we can head off to go snacking at night like Nigella on a bender…

    • Chica Andaluza July 25, 2012 at 09:02 #

      What a brilliant comment – thanks so much! And yes, you´re right. This bears no resemblance to sweet and sour sticky stuff with pineapple – gorgeous, deep flavours to be savoured (and snacked a la Nigella is always an exciting treat)!

      • narf77 July 25, 2012 at 11:24 #

        Nothing tastes so amazing as when it is snuck out of the fridge in the dark by the light of the fridge in your pyjamas and scoffed in silent raptures to the trill of your own personal degustory delight…Nigella most certainly knows what makes a true glutton tick lol 😉

  21. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide July 25, 2012 at 01:25 #

    It sounds wonderful. Some dishes are just not photogenic.

    • Chica Andaluza July 25, 2012 at 09:07 #

      Well, I am sure some people could make them look fab (you for example)…but I was in a hurry to eat!

  22. Charles July 25, 2012 at 02:22 #

    Would this also work in a slow-cooker do you think, or would it not have the same exterior texture at the end? I’m not too familiar with slow-cooking… my wife bought a small one a while back and made some fantastic stuff, but I’ve never used it myself, preferring to stick stuff in the oven instead.

    It looks lovely – the colour seems really rich and tasty!

    • Chica Andaluza July 25, 2012 at 09:11 #

      I think this would work very, very well in a slow cooker…and then if you did need to reduce the sauce at the end this could be done quickly in a little pan!

  23. rsmacaalay July 25, 2012 at 08:41 #

    I so love this, with rice, noodles or even mantou

  24. bitsandbreadcrumbs July 25, 2012 at 17:14 #

    Just reading that this has Chinese Five Spice in it makes me want to try it. I just love that stuff! Then add all these other great flavors and the sherry…and I’m there!

    • Chica Andaluza July 25, 2012 at 18:04 #

      My mum got me into Chinese 5 Spice – she gave me a bag full when she came over once and got me hooked!

  25. Jed Gray (sportsglutton) July 25, 2012 at 19:41 #

    Good old Chinese Five Spice never fails to impress. 😉

  26. Karista July 29, 2012 at 18:18 #

    Mmmmm….this looks fantastic! Definitely saving this on for our next cold spell.

    • Chica Andaluza July 30, 2012 at 23:39 #

      Hope you enjoy it, can highly recommend this one 🙂

  27. Debby Aripianusari June 4, 2016 at 04:17 #

    thanks for your response, I will try 😀

  28. aida tour February 6, 2017 at 08:06 #

    i think its look delicious.. the colour seems really nice


  1. Chinese Style Lamb, Pork or Beef « The Complete Cook Book - August 16, 2012

    […] I read about this recipe over at my friend Tanya’s blog, Chica Andaluza, I quickly commented that I was going to get some pork ribs out of the freezer so I could get […]

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