Braised Beef Stew with Carrots and Potatoes

Does this dish look and sound familiar to you? Before I started making Korean dishes, Chinese comfort food was my go-to meals. This braised beef recipe is similar to the "kalbi jim" or Korean braised beef ribs recipe on my blog.

Cantonese dishes are flavourful and savoury but more mild and soft when compared to Korean dishes which I would describe as bolder and richer, even without the hot spices.

The ingredients for this recipe is relatively simple: soy sauce, salt, garlic, pepper, and onion. Which do you prefer - the Chinese or Korean braised beef dish?

Serves 5-6

Prep time 30 min
Cook time 3 hours

4 lbs beef rib, flanken style cut (ask your butcher to cut them 2 inches thick pieces)
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp garlic, minced
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp star anise powder, optional
5 carrots, cut in 1 inch pieces
2-3 potatoes, cut in 1 by 1 inch pieces
6-8 shiitake mushrooms, soaked for 1 hr and sliced, keep the water
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks green onion, diced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Water, enough to just cover the beef

In a large enameled cast-iron pot/dutch oven over medium-high heat, sear each side to brown the beef, using about 1/2 tbsp olive oil. Remove from heat and set aside.

Drain the oil and fat and pour fresh oil in the pot. Cook the onions for 3-4 min, add the garlic, carrots and potatoes. Cook for another 3-4 min before adding the meat back into the pot. Move the beef to the bottom of the pot as much as you can. Pour the water the mushrooms were soaking in plus enough water to just cover the beef.  Add soy sauce, pepper, anise powder (if using), salt and stir. Once the liquid comes to a boil, turn the heat down to low and simmer for 3 hours with lid on to cover and trap the moisture in.

After 3 hours, check the meat, it should be fall-off the bone soft and very tender, if not, keep simmering for another 30 min.  Now have a taste, if you find that it is not salty enough, add some soy sauce and salt to adjust the taste. Serve over white or brown steamed rice.

I also make this dish using boneless beef ribs. In this case, use homemade beef or chicken stock instead of the water. If you don't have stock readily available, follow the above recipe and at the very end, turn the heat up to medium-high and reduce the liquid by approximately a quarter.

Stewing meat in an enamel cast-iron pot/dutch oven over several hours breaks down the meat and tenderizes it. 


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