Cook the beef / make broth
- Rinse the beef and wipe dry with a kitchen towel.
- Heat a thick-bottomed pan and coat the the bottom with a tablespoon of cooking oil.
- Brown the beef on all sides.
- Pour in eight cups of water.
- Add the onion, garlic, peppercorns, ginger, bay leaves and two tablespoons patis.
- Bring to the boil, cover the pan and simmer for about two hours or until the beef easily separates from the bones.
- Scoop out the beef and set aside.
- Strain the broth.
- Reserve two cups of broth, pour the remaining broth into a clean pan and set over low heat. Taste and add more patis, if needed. Keep the broth hot.
Make the sweet-salty sauce
- Pour the reserved broth into a pan.
- Add the soy sauce, sugar, ginger, garlic and star anise.
- Add the beef to the sauce and simmer, turning the beef over occasionally, for about 15 minutes.
- Mix the starch with two tablespoons of water and a teaspoon of soy sauce.
- Pour the starch solution into the pan with the beef, and stir until thickened and no longer cloudy.
- Taste the sauce and add more soy sauce, sugar or both, depending on what your taste buds dictate.
Assemble your beef pares
- Ladle cooked rice on plates or shallow bowls.
- Arrange pieces of beef on top of the rice.
- Drizzle sauce over the beef.
- Garnish with fried garlic, fried shallots, scallions and cilantro.
- Serve your beef pares with hot broth on the side.
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