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Author Notes: This is my version of a beef stew that is very common in Chinese households. The name is my attempt at a literal translation of the Chinese style of braising meats with soy sauce, wine, and sugar. I included some traditional ingredients (star anise and rock sugar) and some that are definitely not (lime). Using some bone also gives a rich flavor, but is optional. The sauce works well with noodles or rice for a comforting dinner. The stew is also typically used to make a beef noodle soup that is perfect to warm you up from the cold. —monkeymom
Food52 Review: I loved this dish. It was everything I thought it would be: rich, complex and comforting. Monkeymom's timing worked perfectly, too -- the beef was fork-tender after 2 hours in the oven. Her suggestion of cooking the vegetables separately was spot on; I cooked enough vegetables for only 2 servings, and am now able to freeze the rest of the stew, without the vegetables, for a rich beef noodle soup per Monkeymom's suggestions in a few months. —Tarragon
- 4 pounds beef chuck cut into 2 inch cubes
- 1 English short rib (1/2-1 lb) (optional)
- salt and pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup sweet rice wine, sake, or sherry
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar or an equivalent amount of rock sugar (adjust seasoning to taste)
- 2 star anise
- 1 slice ginger root
- 6 garlic cloves
- 3-4 red chili peppers, fresh or dried (again, suit to taste)
- 3 whole dried shiitake mushrooms or fresh ones cut into quarters
- 1 lime, zested
- 3-4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 large daikon, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
- Heat oven to 325 degrees. Season meat with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large ovenproof pot with a tight-fitting lid. Working in batches brown beef all over, removing each piece when done. Add oil as needed.
- Add all meat back to pot. Add wine and vinegar and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits. Add soy sauce and sugar then the stock. Add star anise, ginger, garlic, chili peppers, and mushrooms and bring to a boil. Return beef to pot and add lime zest. Add water to cover meat. Cover, transfer to oven.
- Check pot after 1 hour. Turn over pieces of short rib and stir meat. Cover again and cook 1 hour more, or until meat is tender.
- Move pot to stove top. Simmer on medium heat with lid off to reduce liquid. Cook for 30 minutes.
- To eliminate fat: Depending on your cut of meat, the stew can be very greasy. You can spoon off the fat or poor cooled sauce into a fat separator to remove fat. Alternatively, place pot in refrigerator overnight. Scrape off fat the next day.
- Before serving, reheat the stew and cook without the cover to reduce the sauce a little. At the same time, boil vegetables in a large pot of water for 20 minutes. The vegetables are boiled separately to make sure they do not overcook and retain their color. In addition, raw daikon tends to have a very strong flavor that I don’t like in the stew. The boiled daikon is mild.
- Add boiled vegetables to stew. Serve with fresh hot rice or noodles. Also try it with a sprinkling of chopped green onion and a squeeze of lime.
- Leftovers make a delicious noodle soup. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add noodles. When the noodles are almost done, throw in a large handful of fresh spinach. Cooked until wilted, then drain noodles and spinach. Toss with enough sesame oil to coat noodles (1/4-1/2 tsp). Add meat and meat sauce. Pour hot water or chicken stock to cover the noodles and stir. Add soy sauce, meat sauce, chopped green onion, and/or lime to taste. This noodle soup is awesome with a big helping of chili sauce.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Soy
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Beef Stew