This is a dish that doesn’t take much time to prepare. Just stick it in the oven and let the heat do the rest. It’s a great centre piece dish at a dinner party or a different take on the family sunday roast. Consider it an asian casserole. Prepared in advance, it’s just a case of bunging it in the oven and letting the beautiful smells perfume the house making your guests hungry and ready for a beautiful meal.
Ingredients: (serves 2)
1/2 kg beef shin
2 birds eye chillies
2 large onions (quartered)
1 large carrot (roughly diced)
1/2 a bulb of garlic (cloves whole)
1 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger (thinly sliced)
1 cup of shaoxing rice wine
1/2 cup chinese rice vinegar
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 cup warm stock (beef preferably but chicken will do)
dark soy sauce
cracked black pepper
1 tbsp five spice powder
2 star anise
1/2 cup of flour
2 heaped tsp dark brown sugar
Start by coating the pieces of beef shin in some flour. I cooked thick steaks but you can dice it into smaller chunks or if your butcher supplies beef shin on the bone, this is fine also. Just be aware that the larger the pieces are – the more time it will need to cook.
Place these in a pan with a little oil, braising them on both sides. Once brown, remove onto a plate and add the onions, carrot, garlic cloves and slices of ginger to brown gently. Stir in the five spice powder and star anise. At this point, you can also add a couple of birds eye chillies if you want a spicy kick. These are not necessary and if you prefer, slice the chillies and serve them raw as a separate garnish.
Now for the liquids: start by deglazing the pan with half the rice wine. Follow this with the oyster sauce, stock, vinegar and a several glugs of soy sauce – taking care to stir the onions through the liquid gently. Let the brown sugar dissolve and add the last half a cup of chinese wine to taste.
With a slotted spoon, take out some of the onions and carrot pieces and lay them in an oven proof dish (or slow cooker). Use these as a bed on which to lay the meat on and then cover it with the rest of the veg and liquid. If you have a casserole pot, then by all means use this. Just remember to take the meat out after braising – you don’t want to over cook it.
Place in the oven with a lid, for 2 1/2 – 3 hours on 150 ° (or if you’re using a slow cooker then on high for 2 1/2 hours).
If you can take a spoon to the meat and break it apart gently, then it is ready. Cover with freshly chopped coriander, replace the lid for five minutes and serve at the table with some simple veg like stir fried beanshoots and pak choi, or mushrooms and steamed boiled rice.