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CHINESE GARLIC BEEF 
1.1 kg (2 1/2 lb) beef
60 ml (4 tbsp) groundnut or corn oil
225 g (8 oz) cloves garlic; peeled
45 ml (3 tbsp) Shaohsing wine or medium dry sherry
1.25 ml (1/4 tsp) salt
5 ml (1 tsp) sugar
30 ml (2 tbsp) dark/thick soy sauce
15 ml (1 tbsp) light/thin soy sauce
600 ml (1 pint) clear stock or water
5 ml (1 tsp) potato flour dissolved in
15 ml (1 tbsp) water
8 Spring onions cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) sections

1. Cut the beef into cubes of about 4 cm (1 1/2 inches).

2. Heat a wok over high heat until smoke rises. Add the oil and swirl it round. Add the garlic, turn and toss until it takes on colour. Add the beef and stir fry to brown it with the garlic for 2-3 minutes. Splash in the wine or sherry around the side of the wok, stirring continuously as it sizzles and reduces to about half. Remove from heat.

3. Transfer the wok contents into a large heavy saucepan or flameproof casserole, scraping all the juices from the wok as well. Season with the salt, sugar, soy sauces, and pour in the stock. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to maintain a moderate simmer and continue to cook, covered, for 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 hours or until the beef is tender and most of the garlic has been assimilated into the sauce.

Check the water level from time to time and replenish whenever necessary; also stir thoroughly a few times to make sure that the beef has not stuck to the bottom. When ready, there should be more than 300 ml (1/2 pint) sauce. (This dish can be prepared and cooked to this stage several hours or even a day in advance. The taste actually improves overnight.)

4. Just before serving, bring to the boil then add the well stirred, dissolved potato flour to thicken the sauce slightly. Add the spring onions, replace the lid and cook for a few seconds more. Remove to a warm serving dish and serve.

Submitted by: Steve Twinn
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