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Monday, March 23, 2015

Cantonese Braised Beef and Daikon Stew

Awkwardly, as I was about to prepare a Boeuf Bourgignon, my heart quickly switched to hoisin and garlic.  I suppose the beef and carrots and the "stew" part are the same, but my flavor yearning was for spice, umami, and daikon.  It's funny but I only just recently learned that my favorite "long white turnip" that I use regularly in various recipes from various cultures is called "daikon" in English.  I've always preferred it to it's stubby purple-beige counterpart in taste, and when it's available, I have a hard time resisting placing it into my basket.  I use it sautéed in duck fat when making magret, or in couscous, cooked in that magical ras el hanout meat and vegetable broth.  I've had it in miso soup with seaweed, too, which was a pleasant surprise.  My yearning directed me to a Chinese dish, but this time, a Cantonese recipe.
Adapted from Yi Reservation.
600g stew beef
500g daikon turnip (1 large), peeled and chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 Tbsp oil
2 star anis
1 dried red chile (optional)
1 bay leaf
1 dried orange peel
5 cloves garlic, 3 sliced and 2 grated
1 inch piece ginger, grated
1 Tbsp chu hou sauce (I subbed hoisin + the 2 grated garlic cloves)
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tsp doubanjiang (optional)
2 Tbsp shao xing wine
1 Tbsp light soy sauce
2 1/4 cups water
1/2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp freshly ground green pepper
Scallions and cilantro for garnish
1.  Cut the beef into 1 inch cubes.  Blanch in some boiling water for 8 minutes, then drain and rinse.
2.  Heat the oil in a wok.  Add the star anis, dried chile, bay leaf, and orange peel and fry for 30 seconds until the aroma is released.
3.  Add the ginger and garlic slices and cook another 30 seconds.
4.  Add the blanched beef and stir to coat, cooking for about 1 minute.
5.  Deglaze with the shao xing wine, then add the chu hou, hoisin, oyster, and doubanjiang sauce.  Stir well to coat the meat and cook for another 3 minutes.
6.  Transfer everything but the dark soy, green pepper, and garnish into a slow cooker and cook on low for 7-9 hours.
7.  Before serving, stir in the dark soy and green pepper.  Taste and add salt or light soy sauce if needed.  I didn't think it needed anything extra.
Serve with rice or noodles and garnish with cilantro and scallions.
I served mine with some Stir-Fried Cabbage as well, which was a pleasant enhancement.
Do not skip the orange peel.
It's amazing...
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