Chinese Beef Stew Recipe | 炆牛腩

Beef brisket is a chinese classic dish that is the epitome of hearty comfort food. It is incredibly versatile and there are complexities to the levels of texture and flavor. How do you make this dish good? Well, imagine a nice cut of beef brisket, slowly braised in a combination of chicken broth and spices for hours and hours. The beef juices immersed in the sauces and seasonings will slowly thicken up into a gravy of 3 ½ hours worth of hearty luscious beef brisket that’s both tender and flavorful. Ok, when I first embarked on this journey of making beef brisket, there was a lot to think about to make it perfect. 

The Parts of Beef Brisket

Picking the right part of the beef brisket is important for this dish to succeed. I don’t know about you, but for me when the beef brisket is too lean, it doesn’t taste as great. The balance of some fat and beef ratio has to be perfect in order to fully enjoy this dish. That has a lot to do with which part of the beef brisket you pick. There are two parts to a beef brisket, a point cut and flat cut. The point cut is where there is a nice marbling of fat and meat. The flat cut is mostly lean and only has beef. Its whatever your preference is, but I personally prefer the point cut. 

Chinese Beef Brisket Stew

Beef Tendon

What a lot of people don’t talk about is the importance of beef tendon. Chances are, you had beef tendon in that dim sum beef variety dish. When it is braised right, beef tendon has a gelatinous texture and it will absorb the sauces of the braising which will be incredibly flavorful at the end of this dish. 

Instant Pot Beef Brisket

I’ve used both methods for this dish, even though I appreciate the old school way of slow braising the beef brisket for 3 ½ hours. You can’t beat the timing of the instant pot. The instant pot can make this stew in half the time! But one thing the the old school braising does have over the instant pot is the natural thickening of the sauces. However, this could be easily remedied by taking out the sauces and adding a thickening agent to quickly thicken up the sauce. 

Freezing Beef Brisket

I usually make this beef brisket in bigger batches. I make 6 pounds of this dish, partially because i have a huge family. But also when i make it once in a big batch, i can freeze the beef brisket for a lot of different uses! This main beef brisket can be used as a quick claypot dish served over rice. A beef brisket noodle soup is also a great way to enjoy this dish for a lazy dinner. 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb beef brisket
  • 1 lb beef tendon (You can just use 2 lbs of beef brisket if you don’t enjoy tendon)
  • 2 Star anise
  • 1 Cinnamon
  • ½ tbsp Schezuan Peppercorns
  • ½ tbsp Fennel Seeds
  • ¼ tsp Cloves
  • 1 ½ tbsp Oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp Dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Light soy sauce
  • 1 cube Fermented bean curd
  • 1 ½ tbsp Chee hou sauce
  • 1 tbsp Rock sugar
  • 1 sprig of Green onion
  • 1 thumb size Ginger
  • 1 qt Chicken broth

Instructions

  1. Rinse beef brisket with cold water. Heat a pot of water on medium heat. Once water boils, add in beef brisket and beef tendon. Add in sliced ginger, rice wine, and tie your green onion into a knot and add it into the pot. Boil beef brisket for 1 ½ hours. 
  2. After 1 ½ hours, drain beef brisket. Slice beef brisket in 1 inch increments. Use pot to bring the pot of chicken broth to a boil. Use a cheesecloth to add in 5 spice seasonings; cloves, cinnamon, fennel seeds, star anise, schezuan peppercorns and tie a knot. Make sure dried seasonings won’t leak into pot. Add cheesecloth to pot. 
  3. In a bowl, use a spoon to mash up fermented bean curd until its mixed into a sauce. Add oyster sauce, chou hou sauce, rock sugar, light and dark soy sauce, and mixed bean curd sauce to chicken broth. 
  4. After broth boils, add in beef brisket and beef tendon. Turn the heat down to simmer with lid on the pot and boil for 1 ½ -2 hours until beef is tender. 
  5. Serve beef brisket right away or freeze for future uses. 

Instant Pot Instructions

  1. Rinse beef brisket with cold water. Add a pot of water in an instant pot. Add in beef brisket and beef tendon. Add in sliced ginger, rice wine, and tie your green onion into a knot and add it into the pot. Boil beef brisket in high pressure for 30 minutes.
  2. After 30 minutes, drain beef brisket. Slice beef brisket in 1 inch increments.  Use a cheesecloth to add in 5 spice seasonings; cloves, cinnamon, fennel seeds, star anise, schezuan peppercorns and tie a knot. Make sure dried seasonings won’t leak into the pot. Add cheesecloth to the pot. 
  3. In a bowl, use a spoon to mash up fermented bean curd until its mixed into a sauce. Add oyster sauce, chou hou sauce, rock sugar, light and dark soy sauce, and mixed bean curd sauce to chicken broth. Add seasonings into instant pot. Add in sliced beef brisket and beef tendon. 
  4. Close lid and cook on high pressure for 40 minutes. Release pressure the last 10 minutes of cooking. In a bowl, combine cornstarch and water. 
  5. After beef brisket is done cooking, open lid and change setting to saute. Add the cornstarch mixture to pot and wait till sauce thickens up. 
  6. Serve beef brisket once sauce is thickened to desired consistency. 
Print

Chinese Beef Stew Recipe

chinese beef stew

Beef brisket is a chinese classic dish that is the epitome of hearty comfort food. It is incredibly versatile and there are complexities to the levels of texture and flavor.

  • Author: christine gong
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 3 1/2 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Method: Braised
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 lb beef brisket
  • 1 lb beef tendon (You can just use 2 lbs of beef brisket if you don’t enjoy tendon)
  • 2 Star anise
  • 1 Cinnamon
  • ½ tbsp Schezuan Peppercorns
  • ½ tbsp Fennel Seeds
  • ¼ tsp Cloves
  • 1 ½ tbsp Oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp Dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Light soy sauce
  • 1 cube Fermented bean curd
  • 1 ½ tbsp Chee Hou sauce
  • 1 tbsp Rock sugar
  • 1 sprig of Green onion
  • 1 thumb size Ginger
  • 1 qt Chicken broth

Instructions

  1. Rinse beef brisket with cold water. Heat a pot of water on medium heat. Once water boils, add in beef brisket and beef tendon. Add in sliced ginger, rice wine, and tie your green onion into a knot and add it into the pot. Boil beef brisket for 1 ½ hours. 
  2. After 1 ½ hours, drain beef brisket. Slice beef brisket in 1 inch increments. Use pot to bring the pot of chicken broth to a boil. Use a cheesecloth to add in 5 spice seasonings; cloves, cinnamon, fennel seeds, star anise, sichuan peppercorns and tie a knot. Make sure dried seasonings won’t leak into pot. Add cheesecloth to pot. 
  3. In a bowl, use a spoon to mash up fermented bean curd until its mixed into a sauce. Add oyster sauce, chou hou sauce, rock sugar, light and dark soy sauce, and mixed bean curd sauce to chicken broth. 
  4. After broth boils, add in beef brisket and beef tendon. Turn the heat down to simmer with lid on the pot and boil for 1 ½ -2 hours until beef is tender. 
  5. Serve beef brisket right away or freeze for future uses. 

Keywords: Beef Brisket Stew Chinese Style

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