I don't know what I am gonna call the dish that I just made. According to the recipe, it is called beef brisket. But honestly I have no idea what beef brisket is, let alone seen one. The meat that I am using is what I call stew meat. It may well be beef brisket, I don't know. Due to my bad command of Dutch, I generally leave the the grocery and marketing to experts and I just use whatever meat I can find in my freezer.
A quick check on the ever-so-trusty wikipedia, revealed that beef brisket is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest. It is called 牛腩 (niu nan) in Chinese. Ah, does it sound a bell now? At least for Chinese readers. :)
Now no matter how hard I tried, I simply couldn't manage a nice shot out of it. Photos of beef stew are generally quite a challenge, based on what I learnt from my experiment on flemish beef stew, it seems easier to make a delicious dish than to make the (damned) photo look (damned) good. I admit that my photography skills still have a lot of room for improvement, but it is really difficult to snap pictures, capture the right angle with the right lighting and the right background, when the clock is ticking, the food is nearly burnt, the baby is screaming his head off and the rest of the family are all hungry.
That explains my lack of professionalism on the photography....hehehe. It has to be chop chop, take-1-shot-and-it-is-final, cos my hubby would say "Hey can you stop taking photos, I am hungry". And the baby will mumble "mum mum mum", either he is calling me mum or he is indicating that he is hungry too.
Anyway, back to this recipe. It is adapted from Leong Yee Soo's "Best of Singapore Cooking" cookbook (again). To tell the truth, I don't own the cookbook yet, but when I was back in Singapore in February, I borrowed this best-selling cookbook from the library and I managed to jot down a few good recipes. But the good news is, I am gonna be the happy owner of this famous cookbook very soon. A friend of mine will bring the book along (plus many other cookbooks) when she visits me in a few weeks time. Yippee! More Singapore recipes to come. :)
I love my flemish beef stew recipe, but this recipe is equally good, everybody should give it a try. :p
Chinese Beef Brisket with Ginger and Soya Sauce
1 tbsp ginger juice
2 tbsp light soya sauce
3 tbsp dark soya sauce
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1.5-2 tbsp rice vinegar
Ingredients C (optional)
1 tbsp cornflour
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp sugar
6 slices ginger
4 cloves garlic, bashed
4 shallots, halved
1/4 tsp or 2 segments of star anise
1 stalk lemon grass, bruised
1 inch cinnamon bark
600g beef brisket, cut into pieces
2 tbsp lard or oil
300ml hot water
1. Marinate beef in A for 1 hour.
2. Mix B and C in separate bowls.
3. Heat lard/oil in a saucepan and brown D. Add E to fry for 1 min. Then add F, marinated beef and B. Stir fry and cook over high heat for 10 min. Add 300ml hot water and let boil for 10 min.
4. Transfer dish to a earthern claypot or a heavy-bottomed pot. Bring back to heat and simmer til meat is tender (about 1.5 - 2 hours).
5. (Optional) Thicken gravy with C and stir well. (I personally don't like to thicken the gravy, but prefer the stewed beef to fully absorb the sauce).
6. (Optional) To serve, place whole pieces of lettuce on large serving plate. Arrange beef on lettuce and serve hot.