Cinnamon and chilli braised beef
A simple braise is really all about cooking the beef gently to make sure it is not only tender, but juicy – so fast boiling is out, guys. You can add things like potatoes, yams or pumpkin to the braise, but I suggest you cook them in boiling salted water separately and fold them through the dish when it is cooked. This not only makes it easier, but the vegetables keep their own flavour and it adds complexity to the dish.
Braising the standards: Cinnamon and chilli beef. Photo: William Meppem
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450g beef brisket, 3-4cm pieces
2 tbsp peanut oil
2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
1cm knob of ginger, finely chopped
3 tbsp chilli bean sauce
1 tbsp gochujang
3 cups chicken stock, approximately
1 small cinnamon quill
1 whole star anise
1 tbsp yellow bean soy sauce
2 tsp castor sugar
Note: Check sauces are gluten-free if required.
1. Place brisket pieces in a pot of cold water. Bring to a boil. When scum comes to top, drain then rinse brisket under cold water. Pat dry with paper towel.
2. Place one tablespoon of oil in a wok over high heat. When smoking, add beef and saute until well browned then reserve to one side. Add remaining oil followed by garlic and ginger and stir-fry until fragrant, then add the chilli bean sauce and gochujang.
3. Stir over high heat for a minute until fragrant. Add beef pieces, stir through until well coated then add chicken stock and whole spices.
4. Reduce heat, cover wok with a lid, and simmer over a very low heat for about 1 1/2 hours.
5. Remove lid. Continue to cook until beef is tender and liquid has reduced to a saucy consistency. Stir in soy and sugar. Adjust seasoning, then serve.
Serving suggestion: This is delicious with a bowl of steamed rice, and my cucumber salad helps to counter the chilli in the beef.