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Meat dishes

68. Chinese Braised / stewed / red-cooked beef with potato and carrot (part I)

How to cook red cooked beef Chinese recipe
Chinese braised beef

I am actually a bit reluctant to call this dish ‘braised’ or ‘stewed’, I am not sure how to call it in English, so I looked it up online. The original name for it in Chinese is ‘hong shao rou’, literately means ‘red burning meat’. The actual  way in which it is cooked is different from what we usually understand as  ‘braised’ or ‘stewed’.

‘Hong shao’ is another very typical way of cooking Chinese food. It is not only very popular in Northeast cuisine, but in, almost every regional or ethnic cuisines in China. Although there are some differences from one to another, the main method is same – to cook the main ingredients first by ‘boiling’ them together with the seasonings, until the ingredients ‘soak up’ all the sauce in the sauce pan, then ‘stir’ fry them.

When the dish is presented, there should be no thick sauce in the place; instead, the sauce should rather nicely ‘wrap’ the ingredients. From the appearance, it very much looks like normal ‘stir-frying’, but the procedure and the final taste is totally different. — So you understand what I mean by ‘not really the same as braised or stewed’.:))

Red here means the colour, well, more like symbolic colour, as it can never be cooked ‘red’. In contrast to other ‘red’ dishes, the ‘red’ in this dish comes from the sugar. Although ‘shao’ means ‘burn’, in this case, it really means .. say very well ‘done’? It is a method that can be adapted for cooking with many kinds of ingredients, for example, meat, fish, tofu, or vegetables.

To be honest, I have always been a bit … ‘scared’ (?) to cook ‘Hongshao’, because there are too many ‘steps’, and each steps need to be carefully done, and it takes long time … For me — probably you already know from all these posts I have been writing, a super impatient and careless person. So, no doubt, this dish will be a bit challenge for me. :))

The first ‘Hong Shao’ dish I share here is with beef. (The typical ‘Hongshao’ meat dish is with pork, but since I don’t eat pork, so I make it with beef.) The vegetables I used to go with beef are potato and carrot, which is another common combination.

Because of the nature of beef, you can imagine, the dish takes longer time than my usual ‘simple’ cooking recipes. If you like it, one thing can be recommended is that you can make a quite generous piece of beef first, which can be frozen, then every time you want to cook it, just take a portion, and cook it on its own or with other vegetables of your choice.

… o,o, without realizing the whole recipe is written too long, I will have to put the actual recipe out tomorrow then. :) Have a good week!

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