Szechuan Braised Beef with vegetables

Just like a Boeuf Bourguignon, it takes a few minutes to prepare and most of the work is done in the oven. With ingredients we keep in the house, we can prepare this very satisfying dish in no time. You don’t have to buy the best cut of meat, in fact, affordable meat cuts with a good amount of fat and bones make the dish even tastier. In this case, we have added carrots and potatoes, but you can easily add any root vegetables you prefer. Like any braised dish, it is even better the following day. So double the recipe and add steamed vegetables at the last minute for an exceptional meal. Serve with rice, steamed vegetables such as Bok Choi, brocoli, turnip, kolrabi, parnsip etc…

INGREDIENTS
Serves 4 people

500 Gr. Braising Beef – Chuck Steak, Brisket or simple Braising beef will do just fine. No need to purchase the most expensive cut of meat, as the cooking time will tenderize the meat regardless of its cut. I used braising beef and it works very well. A fatty meat will work wonders in this dish, as it is rather lean and a more fatty cut of meat renders a very moist and tender result.
2 Tablespoons Light Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Dark Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons ShaoXing Cooking wine
1 Tablespoon Honey
3 Dried Chilli peppers
1 2cm Piece of Ginger – peeled and crushed
2 Garlic cloves, finely minced
1 Large onion sliced finely
2 Cups water
3 Carrots cut in bite size pieces
2 Medium size potatoes cut in bite size pieces
2 Star Anis
1 3cm Cinnamon Stick
3 Cloves
2 Bay leaves

METHOD
Preheat your oven at 180 Celsius
In a heavy base saucepan (I use a Le Creuset Cast Iron saucepan with great results) pour in the oil and when hot saute the onions, until the become translucent. Remove the onions and stir in the meat and brown all the pieces. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook for a minute or so.
Add the onions back in the pan and stir in the soy sauces, cooking wine, honey, star anis, cinnamon, chili peppers and cloves.
Add the water and bring the liquid to a boil.
Once boiling, cover the saucepan and place in the oven for 1 1/2 hour.
Check the meat after an 1 1/2 hour and it should be tender, if not leave it for another 30 minutes.
If the meat is tender, an hour before serving stir in the carrots and potatoes and put the lid back on. The vegetables should be cooked and still be firm to the tooth.
Serve with a Chinese or Jasmine Rice or steamed vegetables.

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