Sunday, October 28, 2012

Chinese Soy Braised Beef with Turnips and Carrots

This is a traditional Chinese-style beef stew that's super easy to make and tastes great, especially over steamed white rice. Daikon radish is a typical component, but turnips are a perfectly acceptable substitute (less pungent/bitter-spicy than the daikon). My non-traditional additions are the tomatoes and onion - both I think add an extra touch of sweetness and depth of flavor to this dish.

3 tbsp. vegetable oil
10 cloves garlic, peeled & smashed
6 slices ginger
1 large or 2 medium red chiles, halved & seeded
2 lbs. beef stew meat (or brisket, or beef shank, cubed)
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine
2 tbsp. sugar
8 cups water
2 star anise
Stems from 1 bunch of cilantro
2 scallions, cut into 2 inch sections

1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
4 carrots, peeled & cut into large dice
1 large or 2 medium ripe tomatoes, quartered
1 medium daikon radish, or 2 turnips, peeled & cubed
2 tbsp. of water
2 tbsp. cornstarch
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

1. Heat 3 tbsp. of vegetable oil in a large stock pot over medium high heat. Add the garlic, ginger and red chiles, and stir-fry for a couple minutes until fragrant. 

2. Add the beef and cook for several minutes until lightly browned. Stir in soy sauce, rice wine and sugar. 

3. Add 8 cups water, star anise, cilantro stems, scallions, onion, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until beef is tender. 

4. Add the carrots and turnips. Cover and simmer another 30 minutes or until veggies are tender. 

5. Bring stew up to a boil over high heat. Mix together 2 tbsp. water and 2 tbsp. of cornstarch in a small bowl. Stir into the stew and cook for about 3-5 minutes or until sauce is thickened.

6. Serve the stew over steamed white rice. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

Scallions, tomatoes, onion, ginger, red chiles, garlic, cilantro stems, carrots & turnips.

Beef stew meat. You can also use beef brisket or beef shank, cut into large cubes.

Heat 3 tbsp. of oil in a large pan or stock pot. Saute the garlic, ginger slices and red chiles for several minutes or until fragrant.

Add the beef and saute until lightly browned.

Add the soy sauce, rice wine and sugar.

Add 8 cups of water. 

Add tomatoes, cilantro stalks, onion, scallions, and star anise. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until beef is tender. Add the cubed turnips and carrots, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for another 3o minutes or until veggies are tender.

Shaohsing wine, star anise and soy sauce.

Once the veggies are tender, bring the stew up to a boil, then stir in the cornstarch slurry. Cook 3-5 minutes or until sauce has thickened. Remove the star anise

Serve over steamed white rice and garnish with fresh cilantro. This stew will taste even better the next day.

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