Sichuan Braised Beef

Authentic Sichuan (Szechuan) style braised beef (川味红烧牛肉)is a very humble home style dish you can meet in almost every Sichuan style restaurant. But you will be amazed how balanced and well flavored the beef cubes are and how delicious the sauce is with rice or noodles.

For all beginners of Sichuan cuisine, I highly comment you starting with this dish. It has a very well balanced flavor, not overwhelming spicy like other new trending dishes since only doubanjiang is used for the hot taste.  This is a traditional type of dish in Sichuan cuisine.  They are also other members in this group, including twice cooked pork belly and mala chicken.

Cook’s Note

1.Spare your spices especially  Chinese cinnamon (桂皮). It releases a strong flavor of medicine and if used in a large amount, brings a faint bitter taste of the dish. In addition, I add two Amomum villosum Lours (砂仁) in the spice list (shown in the right picture). I am not sure whether you can buy this outside China. But if you ever visit China or have friends, I highly recommend getting yourself one bag back. This is a very popular spice used in Sichuan cuisine mostly for beef and lamb dishes. But it is still ok to skip if really hard to find.

2.Removing the raw taste of beef is our first step for a well flavored braised beef. This process includes two stages. The first one is to soaking beef cubes with clean water. And the second step calls for simmering for couples of minutes until the inner blood water and comes out.

3.Do not cook any vegetables along with the beef. In lots of other beef stew recipes, some of the best partners like carrot, tomato, potatoes and onions are cooked along with the beef to create a multilayer of tastes. But they do influence the taste of the beef cubes, more actually weaken the original flavors and add some new, either vegetable sweet or etc. Cook vegetable in another pot and mix them together after the beef is already well cooked.

4. By the way, coriander is the best partner of braised beef. Add them before serving. 

5. How to deal with ginger. We will ginger in two process of this recipes. Slice 3 to 4 pieces off and we will use this one in the blanching process and then pat the remaining and that’s the common Chinese way of getting ginger juicy releasing in the soup.

Ingredients

  • 1 strip of beef Brisket, around 1000g
  • 4 middle sized potatoes
  • 2 tbsp. Sichuan doubanjiang
  • 2 leek onions, cut into sections
  • 1 inch root ginger, divided as two parts 
  • 1 garlic bulb, peeled and keep as whole pieces 
  • 1 tbsp. rock sugar
  • 2 star anises
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Amomum villosum Lours (optional)
  • a very small piece of cassia bark
  • 1/2 tbsp. Sichuan peppercorn
  • 1/4 cup light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. dark soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp. Chinese cooking wine
  • Water as needed

Steps

Cut the beef brisket into small chunks and then soak in a large pot of clear water for half an hour.

Get a large pot and load it with enough water, add 2 slices of ginger and 1 tablespoon of cooking wine. Place the beef in cold water, start the fire and bring everything to boil for 2 minutes. Transfer out and drain.

Add around 1 tablespoon of cooking oil in your pot and fry doubanjiang until the oil turns red too (This is the most important step to make the doubanjiang aromatic, be patient). Place leek onion, garlic, ginger and other spices, fry over small fire until aromatic (do not over cook spices for avoid any bitter taste).

Place the beef in and fry for a while until you can smell the aroma of the beef. Add rock sugar, light soy sauce and dark soy sauce. Continue frying for couple of minutes so the flavors can be well combined.  Then place water or beer to cover the beef (3cm higher in regular pot) or 1.5 cm higher in high pressure cooker.  Cook until the beef is well softened. 

Peel the cut the potatoes into 3 cm cubes and then cook the potatoes with clean water for 20 minutes until almost soft.

Drain the potatoes and add then into the well cooked beef. Mix in and continue cook for 2 minutes. Cover the lid and let them combine well in the pot.

Sichuan braised beef|chinasichuanfood.com

PrintSichuan Braised BeefPrep Time30 minsCook Time1 hrTotal Time1 hr 30 mins Authentic Sichuan style red braised beefCourse: Main CourseCuisine: Sichuan cuisineServings: 6Calories: 583 kcalAuthor: ElaineIngredients


  • brisket around 1000g
    4 middle sized potatoes
  • 2 tbsp. Sichuan doubanjiang
  • 2 leek onions cut into sections
  • 1 garlic peeled
  • 1 inch root ginger , divided
  • 1 tbsp. rock sugar
  • 2 star anises
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2  Amomum villosum Lours  optional
  • a very small piece of cassia bark
  • 1/2 tbsp. Sichuan peppercorn
  • 1/4 cup light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. dark soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp. Chinese cooking wine
  • Water as needed
  • coriander as needed

Instructions

  1. Cut the beef brisket into small chunks and then soak in a large pot of clear water for half an hour.
  2. Get a large pot and load it with enough water, add 2 slices of ginger and 1 tablespoon of cooking wine. Place the beef in cold water, start the fire and bring everything to boil for 2 minutes. Transfer out and drain.
  3. Add around 1 tablespoon of cooking oil in your pot and fry doubanjiang until the oil turns red too. Place leek onion, garlic and ginger and other spices, fry over small fire until aromatic.
  4. Place the beef in and fry for a while until you can smell the aroma of the beef. Add rock sugar, light soy sauce and dark soy sauce. Continue frying for couple of minutes so the flavors can be well combined. Then place water or beer to cover the beef (3cm higher in stove pot and 1.5 cm higher in high pressure cooker) and then cook the beef until well softened.
  5. Peel the cut the potatoes into 3 cm cubes and then cook the potatoes with clean water for 20 minutes until almost soft.
  6. Drain the potatoes and add then into the well cooked beef. Mix in and continue cook for 2 minutes. Cover the lid and let them combine well in the pot.

Nutrition FactsSichuan Braised BeefAmount Per ServingCalories 583Calories from Fat 198% Daily Value*Total Fat 22g34%Saturated Fat 7g35%Cholesterol 187mg62%Sodium 1069mg45%Potassium 1649mg47%Total Carbohydrates 22g7%Dietary Fiber 4g16%Sugars 2gProtein 68g136%Vitamin A0.8%Vitamin C20.7%Calcium7%Iron61.4%* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. udressme.co.nz