All morning yesterday, I simmered two large chunks of beef chuck until they were so tender they were literally falling apart. Problem was I couldn’t decide what dish to make out of them. It was really time to go food shopping but I had to postpone it because I was still feeling woozy from a bout with colds.
I checked what I still had — chilies, ginger, garlic and coconut cream — and decided it was time to find out if a beef version of Bicol Express would be just as good as the original with pork.
And, yes, the beef version is just as good but I do recommend a fatty beef cut. I’m not so sure that a very lean cut of beef will yield the same satisfactory results.
Chili beef with coconut cream
- 500 grams beef (I suggest chuck, brisket, crest or short ribs), simmered until tender then roughly chopped
- 2 to 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- 8 to 10 finger chilies thinly sliced
- 1 one-inch piece ginger peeled and finely sliced
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and finely minced
- 1 onion peeled and chopped
- 1 to 1 and 1/2 cups coconut cream
- patis (fish sauce) or salt, to taste
- Heat the cooking oil. Add the chilies, ginger, garlic and onion. Cook over high heat, stirring often, until very fragrant.
- Add the beef. Season with salt or fish sauce.
- Pour in the coconut cream. Bring to a gentle boil. Taste the sauce and add more salt or fish sauce, if necessary. Simmer uncovered for about five minutes.
- Serve hot, preferably topped with torn fresh cilantro.
- Easy, eh?
In case you’re wondering what the dish in the yellow plate is, that’s chicken salpicao. Use the beef salpicao recipe, substitute chicken thigh fillets, and everything else in the procedure is just the same.
Now, the rice in the photo. That’s not just any rice, I tell you. That’s a to die for rice. I’ll tell you about it in the next entry.