Basic braised beef

Yield: 6 Servings

Measure Ingredient
2 pounds Beef chuck
1 \N Scallion stalk
1 \N Clove garlic
2 \N Or
3 slices Fresh ginger root
4 tablespoons Soy sauce
2 tablespoons Sherry
1 teaspoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
1 dash Pepper
2 \N Or
3 tablespoons Oil
3 cups Water
\N 2 cloves star anise
\N 1 tablespoon wine vinegar
\N 1 pound cabbage, cut in wedges
\N 6 eggs, hardboiled and shelled
\N 1 pound string beans, stemmed

1. Leave beef whole. Cut scallion stalk in 2-inch sections. Mince garlic and ginger root and combine with soy sauce, sherry, sugar, salt and pepper.

2. Heat oil in a heavy pan. Brown beef quickly on all sides. Add soy-sherry mixture and cook stirring to heat and blend (about 3 minutes). Meanwhile, boil water.

3. Add water to beef and bring to a boil again. Simmer, covered, until beef is tender (about 1-½ to 2 hours).

NOTE: You may increase the soy sauce to ½ cup, the sherry to ¼ cup; then reserve the gravy as a master sauce. (See recipe for "Master Sauce".) VARIATIONS:

Cut the beef in large chunks. Cook only 1 hour in step 3.

Cut the beef in 1-½ inch cubes. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt; then toss in ½ tablespoon soy sauce and ½ tablespoon sherry. Let stand 20 to 30 minutes, turning occasionally. Then brown as in step 2, but omit the soy-sherry mix. Cook about 45 minutes in step 3.

Instead of browning the beef, plunge in a pan of boiling water, parboil 2 to 3 minutes, then drain.

In step 1, do not combine the soy sauce and other seasonings. Instead, after browning the beef in step 2, cook it in the soy over medium heat, until well colored (about 10 minutes). Then add the scallion, garlic and ginger root; stir in the sherry, sugar, salt, pepper and 2 cups heated stock. Cook as in step 3, but omit the boiling water.

In step 2, add any of the following: 3 to 4 anise peppercorns and ½ teaspoon sesame oil 1-inch piece of cinnamon stick

1 piece tangerine peel (soaked) During the last 30 minutes of cooking, add any of the following: 1 pound carrots, peeled and cubed 6 celery stalks, cut in 1-inch sections ½ pound chestnuts, parboiled ½ cup lily buds (soaked), cut in two 1 pound lotus root, peeled and cubed 1 cup dried black mushrooms (soaked), left whole 1 pound new potatoes, peeled and cubed 1 pound Chinese white turnips, peeled and cubed During the last 15 minutes of cooking, add 2 cups bamboo shoots, diced.

During the last 10 minutes of cooking, add 2 cups shelled peas or 4 tomatoes, cut in wedges.

NOTE: When adding vegetables, do not also add star anise, anise pepper, cinnamon stick, tangerine peel or wine vinegar. (These will overwhelm the vegetable flavors.) They are better when the beef is cooked alone.

From <The Thousand Recipe Chinese Cookbook>, ISBN 0-517-65870-4. Downloaded from Glen's MM Recipe Archive, .

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