Chinese-style braised beef

I can’t resist a good recipe when I come across one. I was browsing food sites a couple of days ago, saw a one-pot Chinese-style braised beef recipe at BBC Good Food and I immediately experienced an adrenalin rush. It looked so good. I checked the ingredients and, in my mind, I just knew that the dish would taste good too.

My only objection was that the recipe required the beef to be cooked slowly in the oven. We’re trying to cut down on LPG consumption as I’ve said in a couple of posts recently and cooking the meat in the oven would mean using too much gas.

My first instinct was to use the slow cooker but, on second thought, I wondered if that wouldn’t mean consuming a lot of electricity which is just as expensive as cooking with LPG. I debated whether the convenience of being able to leave the meat in the slow cooker overnight with no supervision could justify the power consumption. In the end, I decided to use the pressure cooker. One hour and five minutes was all it took and the beef cooked wonderfully with the fat literally melting in the mouth. The aroma was insanely gorgeous.

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The original recipe uses five-spice powder, I had none, so I used the five spices that make up the five-spice powder — star anise, fennel seeds, cloves, cinnamon bark and Sichuan peppercorns. If you have five-spice powder, a teaspoonful will do.

casaveneracion.com rice wine

This recipe calls for rice wine and what you see in the photo above was what I used. Feel free to use any other rice wine like sake or mirin. If you don’t have rice wine, some say that sherry is a passable substitute.

The following recipe is tailor-made for the pressure cooker. You can, of course, opt to cook this on the stove-top or in the oven. Cooking on the stove-top will require occasional stirring and the cooking time would be around two hours to two-and-a-half hours. If you prefer to cook the meat in the oven, you can refer to the instructions in the original recipe.

Recipe: Chinese-style braised beef

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 k. of stewing beef, cut into two-inch cubes (I used short ribs; face, crest, shank or shoulder blade will also be good)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 c. of flour
  • 4 tbsps. of cooking oil
  • 1/4 c. of roughly chopped scallions (onion leaves)
  • 1 tbsp. of minced garlic
  • a generous knob of ginger, julienned
  • 2 bird’s eye chilis, chopped
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon bark
  • 1/2 tsp. of fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. of Sichuan peppercorns
  • 4 cloves
  • a generous splash of rice wine
  • 2 c. of beef broth
  • 4 tbsps. of dark soy sauce
  • 4 tbsps. of dark brown sugar
  • salt, to taste
  • finely sliced scallions, to garnish

Instructions

  1. Place the beef in a single layer in a container with a tight lid. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
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  3. Sprinkle the flour on the meat, cover the container tightly and shake to coat each piece of meat with flour. Alternatively, use a resealable plastic bag.
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  5. Heat the cooking oil in the pressure cooker. Brown the beef in batches.
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  7. When all the beef had been browned, it’s time to saute the aromatics.
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  9. Reheat the cooking oil in the pan and add the ginger, garlic, scallions, chilis, cinnamon bark, star anise, cloves, fennel seeds and Sichuan peppercorns (of the five-spice powder, if that’s what you’re using). Cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about two minutes.
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  11. Pour in the rice wine.
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  13. Scape the bottom of the pan to loosen the brown bits. Allow the rice wine to almost evaporate, about a minute.
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  15. Return the browned beef to the pan. Pour in the broth and soy sauce. Add the sugar. Stir. Taste the sauce and add salt, as needed (I don’t recommend adding more soy sauce because that will make the dish too dark and rather unattractive).
  16. Seal the lid on the pressure cooker, wait for the valve to whistle, then turn down the heat to a simmer and cook for 60 to 65 minutes.
  17. Turn off the heat, wait for about ten minutes for the pressure to die down then remove the lid. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings, if needed.
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  19. Serve the braised beef hot with rice.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 hour(s) 5 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4 to 5



Comments

  1. Angela Ubaldo says

    Looks yummy ! This is one of those weeks that i am running out of ideas on what to fix for dinner ( it is spring break and I am feeding my boys all day ). This looks like a good one to fix for dinner tomorrow ! Do you think it would be okay to add some baby bok choy, carrots and also a few sprigs of cilantro to it? Thanks for all your posts !

  2. natzsm says

    Ms. Connie,

    What a coincidence, I made use of exactly the same spice mix for my braised pork pata yesterday. I cooked it on the stove stop. Pork pata takes far less time to cook than beef and to save on energy, I usually cook 3 kilos worth of food at a time and freeze them in 1 liter freezable/microwavable containers for future consumption.

    With the price of LPG, one simply has to find ways of saving.

  3. lilibeth says

    thanks again for giving tips on how to save in lpg, in baking i use the turbo broiler with bunt pan, it’s work well in all of your cake recipe. God bless.

  4. peterb says

    That looks sooo good! Parang i can smell it too! haha
    I really need to find a sealing ring for our pressure cooker. I’ve been cooking beef for 3 weekends already.

  5. austin says

    Hi Ms. Connie. I am cooking this dish right now in time for dinner and I opted for the slow cook using a cast iron pot.It has been cooking for 2 hours now and the hubby is coming home from work at 7pm. The meat is already tender but I still want to extend it for one hour para mas lumabas ang sarap ng beef.I used short ribs and some brisket, medyo may taba. Buti na lang medyo madaling palambutin ang beef dito sa Australia at kakaiba din ang lasa, parang lasang gatas..so creamy when it’s tender and it just melts in your mouth.Kaya when I tasted this dish, I took one slice & some sauce, sooo yummy talaga, with just the right kick of spice. Thanks heaps for sharing this easy to cook and yummy recipe.

  6. says

    Hi Connie! I got an Indian style rice cooker as my souvenir during my trip to India last week so I am on the lookout for pressure cooker recipes. This sounds good! I might try it with pork as it is a little difficult to find good quality beef in Phitsanulok. Cheers.

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