For years I used to dream of recreating this beef dish. This is the one we put as a topping on our Beef Mami (Beef Noodle Soup). It can be served as well on a bed of noodles without soup. It is also known as Beef Flank in Chinese restaurants. While living in Hong Kong, we would often speculate on the ingredients used whenever we have one from a restaurant or a hawker. It remained a dream until I stared long enough on one of the sections of the Chopsticks Recipes series cookbook (titled Quick Meals authored by Cecilia Au-Yeung). Suddenly I realised it was the one I've been searching for! I test cooked it and indeed it was the one! Eureka!
A tip on the recipe, try to buy bean paste/sauce where all the beans are pureed well. The one available to me has lots of whole beans in it and it's hard to mash before cooking since the beans are still quite firm. It's hard to do it after/during cooking as well because the pesky little beans are hard to catch and really so much trouble. So get the bean paste that's well mashed up.
Try to keep the ginger in one or several big lumps so it's easier to fish them out of the sauce for serving. I'm actually tempted to put all the spices in a tied up muslin bag to save me from straining the sauce. Maybe I'll do just that one of these days.
Braised Brisket of Beef
500 g stewing cuts of beef (brisket, chuck, shin, etc.) - cut into chunks
2 pcs star anise
1 square inch fresh ginger - peeled and mashed/sliced
1 square inch dried tangerine (or orange) peel [optional]
2 Tbsp cooking oil
5 cups boiling water (approximate)
1 tsp garlic - minced
2 tsp rice wine or dry sherry
1/4 cup ground bean paste/sauce
1 Tbsp rice wine or dry sherry
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
a pinch of pepper
1 tsp cornflour
1 Tbsp water
1 tsp sesame oil
- (Optional) Soak tangerine peel in warm water until soft.
- Wash and place brisket in a pressure cooker. Pour enough water to cover the brisket. Cover and pressure cook for 15 minutes.
- Remove beef and stock/sauce from the pressure cooker. Separate the beef from the stock and set aside.
- Heat the oil in medium heat in the pressure cooker pot and sauté the minced garlic, ginger, and ground bean paste until aromatic.
- Add the beef and stir fry for 2 minutes. Sprinkle wine. Stir fry for a few seconds.
- Strain the beef sauce (beef stock where the beef was cooked) into the pot. Add star anises, and tangerine peel (if using). Cover pressure cooker and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- By this time the beef should be tender. Turn off heat and remove the lid once the pressure cooker has cooled down sufficiently.
- Stir in the seasoning and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
- Add gravy mix. Simmer for 2 minutes or until thick.
- Sometimes I do not pre-boil the beef. So I skip procedure nos. 2, 3, & 7 and soften the meat by simmering for a long time with the seasoning in a regular pot or through a crockpot/slow cooker.
- We mainly use the above recipe for beef mami. Just cook some egg noodles and put some chicken broth/stock, add the beef brisket and its sauce, then sprinkle some chopped green onions on top.