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Braised Beef with Spicy Sauce Recipe

Braised Beef with Spicy Sauce Recipe

Braised Beef with Spicy Sauce Recipe

In most Chinese markets, braised beef may be purchased cooked. If you buy your beef already braised in the market, be sure to also purchase a cup of the braising sauce from the vendor, so you need not prepare the sauce at home.

Ingredients :

    • 4 fresh beef shanks
    • 1 red finger-length chili
    • 4 spring onions
    • 5 slices ginger
    • 5 cloves garlic, smashed but not cut
    • 2 cups (500 ml) soy sauce
    • 160 g (1 cup) rock sugar
    • 6 tablespoons rice wine
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 3 tablespoons sweet fermented flour paste (tien mien jiang) or hoisin sauce (see note)
    • 2 cups (500 ml) water
    • 1 Chinese stew spice bag (lu hsiang bao, see note)
    • Sprigs of coriander leaves and finely chopped deseeded red finger-length chilies, to garnish

Method :

    1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the beef shanks and let it boil for 2 minutes to clean the meat. Remove the beef with a slotted spoon, rinse in cool water and set aside to drain in a colander.
    2. Place the beef in a large clean pot, add all the ingredients except the spice bag and garnishes. Bring to a boil. Add the spice bag, cover with a lid, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 2 hours. When done, turn off the heat and let the beef shanks cool in the cooking sauce in the pot for at least 1 hour.
    3. To serve, remove the beef shanks from the pot, place on a cutting board and cut across the grain into thin slices. Arrange the sliced beef attractively on a serving platter, then drizzle some of the sauce on top. Garnish with sprigs of coriander leaves and chopped red chili, if desired. Extra sauce may be kept in the refrigerator for future use.
    4. If you wish to serve this dish the next day, place the entire pot of beef, including the sauce, in the refrigerator overnight and cut immediately before serving the next day.

Tien Mien Jiang, also known as sweet bean sauce, is a thick, black-colored Chinese sauce made with ground fermented yellow soybeans, flour, sugar and salt. Chinese cooks use it as a marinade or condiments for meats. It is used in dishes such as Peking Duck. Hoisin sauce is a good substitute.

If you cannot find Chinese stew spice bags in the market, you can make your own with a few sticks of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, a few pieces of dried orange peel, 6 cloves, half a nutmeg and a few slices of licorice root. Tie these into a cheesecloth and add to the cooking sauce. The sliced beef may be garnished with coriander leaves and, for a pungent touch, some finely chopped fresh chilies. If you don’t like beef, the same dish may be prepared with lamb shanks or pork shanks.

Serves 4–6
Preparation time : 15 mins
Cooking time : 3 hours