(Diet) Day 37 – Chinese-style braised beef stew with Pak Choi and Brown rice
- 3-4 tbsp olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves , thinly sliced
- good thumb-size piece fresh root ginger , peeled and shredded
- 1 bunch spring onions , sliced
- 1 red chilli , deseeded and thinly sliced
- 1½ kg braising beef , cut into large pieces
- 2 tbsp plain flour , well seasoned
- 1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder (see below how to make if you don’t have any available!)
- 2 star anise (optional)
- 2 tsp light muscovado sugar (or use whatever you’ve got)
- 3 tbsp Chinese cooking wine or dry sherry (I used sake)
- 3 tbsp dark soy sauce , plus more to serve
- 500ml beef stock
- steamed bok choi and steamed brown rice, to serve
- Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large, shallow casserole. Fry the garlic, ginger, onions and chilli for 3 mins until soft and fragrant. Tip onto a plate. Toss the beef in the flour, add 1 tbsp more oil to the pan, then brown the meat in batches, adding the final tbsp oil if you need to. It should take about 5 mins to brown each batch properly.
- Add the five-spice and star anise (if using) to the pan, tip in the gingery mix, then fry for 1 min until the spices are fragrant. Add the sugar, then the beef and stir until combined. Keep the heat high, then splash in the wine or sherry, scraping up any meaty bits. Heat oven to 150C/fan 130C/gas 2.
- Pour in the soy and stock (it won’t cover the meat completely), bring to a simmer, then tightly cover, transfer to the oven and cook for 1½-2 hrs, stirring the meat halfway through. The meat should be very soft, and any sinewy bits should have melted away. Season with more soy. This can now be chilled and frozen for up to 1 month.
- Nestle the cooked bok choi into the pan, then bring to the table with the brown rice straight away and tuck in.
I was missing ‘chinese five spices’ in my cupboard, so sourced the ingredients off the internet, and made it within 5 minutes…… so easy!
1. In a dry skillet, roast 2 teaspoons of Szechuan peppercorns by shaking the pan over low to medium heat until the aroma of the peppercorns is released (about three minutes).
2. Grind the roasted peppercorns and 8 star anise in a blender or pepper mill.
3. Strain the blended seasonings.
4. Mix in 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon ground fennel seeds.
5. Grind the seasonings until very fine.
6. Store in an airtight container.
1. Use five-spice powder sparingly, as it can be quite pungent.
2. If desired, you can substitute black peppercorns for the Szechuan peppercorn, and ground anise for the star anise (use 4 teaspoons of ground anise).
Related Articles (to five spice)
- Recipe of the Day: Five Spice Wings (friendseat.com)
- imabonehead: Fast Five Spice Beef Ribs | Black Girl Chef’s Whites (blackgirlchefswhites.com)
- Healthy Tip: Cooking with Whole Spices (wholefoodsmarket.com)