Browned beef is pressure-cooked with star anise, fennel seeds, cloves, cinnamon bark, Sichuan peppercorns and rice wine in this Chinese-inspired beef stew recipe.
It’s a fusion dish. Browning meat prior to stewing is more French than Asian but the spices and seasonings used in the dish are decidedly Asian.
I saw a one-pot Chinese-style braised beef recipe at BBC Good Food and I immediately experienced an adrenalin rush. It looked so good. I checked the ingredients and, in my mind, I just knew that the dish would taste good too.
This beef stew can be cooked on the stovetop from start to finish. You may also do the browning and sauteeing on the stovetop and finish cooking in the oven. A third option is to use a slow cooker. And a fourth option, the one I chose, was to use a pressure cooker.
Chinese-inspired Beef Stew
- Pressure cooker
- 1 ½ kilograms stewing beef I used short ribs but crest, shank or shoulder blade will also be good
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup flour
- 4 tablespoons cooking oil
- ¼ cup chopped scallions
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 two-inch knob ginger peeled and julienned
- 2 bird’s eye chilies chopped
- 2 star anise
- 1 two-inch piece cinnamon bark
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
- ½ teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
- 4 cloves
- 1 generous splash rice wine
- 2 cups bone broth
- 4 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- finely sliced scallions to garnish
- Place the beef in a single layer in a container with a tight lid.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper generously.
- Sprinkle the flour on the meat, cover the container tightly and shake to coat each piece of meat with flour. Alternatively, use a resealable plastic bag.
- Heat the cooking oil in the pressure cooker.
- Brown the beef in batches.
- Scoop out the beef and keep warm.
- Reheat the cooking oil in the pan and add the ginger, garlic, scallions, chilis, cinnamon bark, star anise, cloves, fennel seeds and Sichuan peppercorns (of the five-spice powder, if that’s what you’re using).
- Cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about two minutes.
- Pour in the rice wine.
- Scape the bottom of the pan to loosen the brown bits.
- Allow the rice wine to almost evaporate, about a minute.
- Return the browned beef to the pan.
- Pour in the broth and soy sauce.
- Add the sugar. Stir.
- Taste the sauce and add salt, as needed (I don’t recommend adding more soy sauce because that will make the dish too dark and rather unattractive).
- Seal the lid on the pressure cooker, wait for the valve to whistle, then turn down the heat to a simmer and cook for 60 to 65 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, wait for about ten minutes for the pressure to die down then remove the lid.
- Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings, if needed.