Popular Beef

Authors: Go Chengdu

2014-12-01

BEEF is an excellent source of complete protein and minerals such as zinc, selenium, phosphorus and iron, and B vitamins, and it is widely used in both Chinese and Western cuisines.
Fuqi Feipian (Chinese Cooking)
One of the most popular Sichuan dishes, Beef in Chili Sauce (Fuqi Feipian) is tender, spicy, aromatic and beautiful in color, and is often served as a cold dish. It is made of thinly sliced beef, stomach and tongue, and a generous amount of spices, including Sichuan peppercorn and Chili.
What you need:
Tender beef, 500 g
Chicken (or duck) broth, 1000 g (2 cups)
Sichuan peppercorn, 5 g
Cassia, 5 g
Star anise, 5 g
Salt, 50 g
Chinese white liquor, 25g
Soy sauce, 50 g
MSG, 5 g
Pepper powder, 5 g
Sesame, 5 g
Crushed peanuts, 10 g

The process:
1. Wash beef. Clean and boil it for 5 minutes. Take it out and drain water.
2. Heat the sauce in a pot, add prickly ash, cassia, salt, liquor and cup of water and bring to a boil. Put in beef, stew for 2 hours. Take out and cool off.
3. Use 50g (3tbsp) of the sauce along with soy sauce, MSG, spicy oil and pepper powder to make seasoning.
4. Cut beef into thin slices and put on a plate. Sprinkle on seasoning, then sesame oil and peanuts. It’s now ready to serve.
Key to success: accurate timing and flame control.

Beef in Guinness (Western cooking, adapted by Kimberly Dallas)
Beef in Guinness is a very popular Irish dish served in Irish pubs and restaurants around the world. The Chengdu Bookworm used to serve this dish for their St. Paddy’s Day celebration.

What you need:
1 kg beef, cubed (I use the fattier beef for more flavor.)
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
6 medium carrots, sliced into coins
Flour, seasoned with dried thyme and parsley
1 bottle of Guinness 330 ml (Any stout beer)
330 ml water
Parsley, fresh for garnish
Sunflower Oil

The process:
Cut the beef into cubes and peel and slice the onions and carrots. Put flour in a bowl and add dried thyme and parsley. Toss beef cubes in flour until they have a light coating of flour. Brown beef cubes in oil. You may have to do this in several batches as you do not want the beef cubes to touch each other as you are browning them.
Remove the beef and fry the onions gently until they are transparent. Return the beef and add the carrots, Guinness, and water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a very gentle simmer, cover and cook for 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Check that the dish does not dry out, adding more liquid if necessary. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with boiled potatoes.
Note: If you have a Chinese kitchen most likely your stove’s lowest setting is too high for a gentle simmer. I constantly watch my dish and stir frequently to avoid sticking and burning. You may need to reduce your cooking time depending on your stove.

Kimberly Dallas, from the US, is a long-time resident of Chengdu and was the cheesecake baker of Mike's Pizza Kitchen and once a member of CIWC (Chengdu International Women's Club).

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