Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Beef Short Ribs Stew in Special Sauce




I cooked this for our Valentine's dinner.  Ha... this is how "romantic" couples can be after getting married!  No expensive steak at fancy restaurant over some dim candle-light.  But honestly, it does not matter to me, especially when this beef stew taste so YUMMY!  My hubby helped himself to two more slices of bread with  the beef and gravy after he finished his bowl of rice ...  ^_^




Can you guess what special sauce(s) were used to prepare this wonderful pot of beef stew?  Last round when I cooked beef stew, I used a variety of herbs/spices with cooking wine (or beer).  Though the taste was flavourful, I find it a little complicated for my taste bud.  I have also tried beef stew with tomato puree & herbs (it tasted Italian).  

This must be my best beef stew to-date.  Tender beef ribs in rich flavourful sauce.  The carrots absorbed all the richness in the sauce while keeping their distinct sweetness.  The best part:  Simple ingredients to prepare, no messing around in kitchen for hours.  But, you really need to pay attention to it at the last 30 minutes into stewing.  Make sure the contents do not stick at the bottom of your pot or casserole.  


Ingredients: Beef short ribs, 2 carrots, 1 onion, 3 slices ginger, minced garlic
My special sauce: 1 piece fermented red bean curd (南乳), 3/4 tbsp bean paste, 2 tbsp cooking wine, 1 tsp sugar

I added some boiled quail eggs for added variety (my girl loves the "mini eggs").  


To prepare:

1) Heat wok on high with a tbsp oil.  Sear the beef lightly on both sides for about a minute.  Remove.
2) Add another tbsp oil, stir fry the ginger, onion, followed by garlic.
3) Lower to medium heat, add fermented red bean curd and bean paste and stir to release aroma.
4) Add beef, carrot and stir to combine.  Add cooking wine and stir.
5) Add water (almost covering the ingredients), sugar and cover.  When content starts boiling, transfer to casserole and simmer over low-heat for about 90 minutes (after 60 minutes, check to ensure the ingredients do not stick at the bottom).  At the last 5 minutes of cooking, add cooked quail eggs.
6) Let the stew rest for an hour (I find stew tastes better this way).
7) Reheat the stew and serve hot.




I keep a portion for my lunch next day to go with pasta.  Add a little pasta water (water used to cook the pasta) when you combine the cooked pasta with the stew.  Just before you turn off the heat, add 1 to 2 tbsp of cream for that smooth and rich gravy.  Sprinkle some chopped parsley and serve.



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