Chinese Style Braised Beef

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.

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