Friday, July 1, 2016

Cantonese Style Beef Stew

We love stew and I am more than happy to cook them because it solves my dinner menu planning as we can have the stew for a few days.  And as you know, a pot of stew really tastes better as days goes by and more ingredients are added into it.

Recently I saw a beautiful daikon in the supermarket and bought it without second thought, its not expensive I think about SGD1+ for it.  I scoured the web for some ways to cook that beautiful vegetable, almost wanted to braise it but I know the rest of the gang definitely would not fancy that.  So I decided to make beef stew with it, but with a new recipe, after thinking I made up my mind to do a simple Cantonese style beef stew.

How SIMPLE is simple?  Well, I only need beef and daikon as the main ingredients but it needs a handful of others ingredients where some of them like Hoisin sauce 海鲜酱 and Chu Hou sauce 柱候酱 you probably have to buy it specially for this recipe.

I bought 2 packets of pre-cut beef stew cubes from supermarket, cost me SGD13+ per packet of probably 300g (am not sure coz I did not look at it), since I am feeding younglings (gosh, this word just pop into my brain as I type lol) I cut some of the pieces into smaller size.  I blanch the beef cubes to get rid of any impurities and smell, set aside.  You can use other parts of beef such as brisket if you prefer.

Next heat up some oil in a wok or pan or pot, I used my trusty corning ware, next add in the garlic and ginger to stir fry till aromatic.  Add in the Hoisin sauce, Chu Hou sauce, oyster sauce to stir fry for about 1 - 2 minutes.  The beef and the spices with the Chinese cooking wine are next, stir fry for about 3 - 4 minutes or till beef are browned.  Lastly, add water to cover the beef, turn down the fire to simmer the pot of stew for at least 2.5hours.  The water should have thicken into some sauce by then, add in the cubed daikon and continue to cook for another 30mins or till it is soft.  

The wonderful thing about corning ware besides being able to go from freezer to oven/stove to table, it retains heat so well that it takes shorter time then usual to cook the food.  Yay to ALL THAT!  Having said that, the timing I have indicated in this post is for normal wok or pan, for those using corning ware pot, adjust the timing according.  For this dish I cooked it for 1hr+, add in the daikon and continue to simmer for another 15mins or so, cover the pot, turned off the heat and let it continue to cook by itself.

Look at my beautiful pot of beef stew, the sauce is sweet, diakon is soft and beef are tender.  This big pot only lasted 2 days before we wipe it clean.  It would have been gone on the day I served it but as there are other dishes too so it "survived" till the next day.

* 300-400g stewing beef cube or brisket
* 1 daikon
* 2 tablespoon of cooking oil
* 2 cups of water
* 2 star anise
* 1 dried bay leaf
* 1 tangerine peel
* 2 - 3 cloves of garlic
* 3 slices of ginger
* 1 rock suger, about thumb length
* 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
* 1 tablespoon Hoisin sauce
* 1 tablespoon Chu Hou sauce
* 2 tablespoon Hua Diao or Shaoxing or Chinese cooking wine.
* 1 tablespoon soy sauce
* half tablespoon dark soy sauce, more if you want the stew to be darker

1. Blanch the beef and set aside.
2. Peel and slice the garlic, set aside.
3. Heat up oil in wok, add in the ginger and garlic, do a quick stir till they give off a fragrance, about a minute or so.
4. Turn down the fire, add in the Hoisin sauce, Chu Hou sauce, oyster sauce and rock sugar to stir fry till rock sugar has melted.
5. Add in the beef, star anise, tangerine peel, bay leaf and Chinese cooking wine.  Turn the fire to medium and continue to stir fry for 3 - 4 minutes to brown the beef.
6. Add in the water, together with the soy sauce and dark soy sauce, bring to boil and turn the fire down to simmer with wok covered for 2 to 2.5 hours.  Check and turn the beef frequently.
7. In the mean time, peel and cut the daikon into bite size, add into the wok, stir to mix.
8. Turn up the heat to bring the stew to boil and after that turn down the fire to let it simmer, covered for about 30 minutes or till the daikon is soft.
9. Dish and serve.

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