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Ingi Cooks! Wagyu braised beef (minus the "wagyu")

Sometimes, you just need a warm, hearty meal in winter. One that fills the house with delicious aroma and fills your belly, good and full.

I found this recipe in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Weekend Magazine - I enjoy the recipes in there - they work well and make a change from spaghetti bolognese! It has asian flavours with cosy homecooked stew overtones.

60ml vegetable oil
1 large brown onion, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
small knob of ginger, finely grated (or use the pre-grated stuff from a jar)
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, cut into 1cm-thick pieces
1kg wagyu oyster blade steak, cut into 2cm pieces (like they sell Wagyu beef here! I just used regular oyster blade)
1/3 cup plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper (I used my Schezuan salt and pepper mix!)
4 tbsp Shaoxing wine (use sherry if you can't find it)
2 cups fresh chicken stock (or the pre-made stuff, like me!)
2 tbsp Chinese dark mushroom soy sauce (seriously? dark mushroom? I just used dark soy)
2 tbsp Chinese light soy sauce
2 tsp rock sugar (OMG - I'm not going out to buy a whole bunch of new sugar and just use 2 teaspoons of it! I just used raw sugar)
1 whole star anise
1 whole cinnamon stick
freshly ground black pepper

Let's cook this sucker, shall we?

First up, heat oil in a heavy-based saucepan (is there any other kind?) and add onion, garlic, ginger and salt and cook over a low-medium heat for about 8 minutes until the onion is soft. Mmmm! Smells divine! Remove onion mixture from pan and set aside. Heat 20ml of oil and cook shiitakes on high heat until golden. Set aside and slap Hubby's hands as he tries to steal them.

Place beef in seasoned flour and toss to coat.

Heat remaining 20ml of oil on high heat and cook beef in batches. Set aside. Your saucepan will look a wreck - like this! 

But this is a good thing, because you are going to "deglaze" the pan with the shaoxing wine, which is a fancy way of saying you'll get all those crispy bits off the bottom of the saucepan and into the wine, creating a lovely, winey, beefy liquid.

Now add the chicken stock, the soy sauces, sugar, star anise and cinnamon. Bring to a simmer.

Check the seasoning (a good excuse to sip a bit of sauce). Return the beef, shiitakes, and onion mixture back to the saucepan. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beef is tender and the liquid has thickened. This took about an hour. Time for a glass of wine, or two...

Luckily after all that wine, all you have to do is remove the star anise and cinnamon and serve with steamed jasmine rice:

I suppose you could add veges of some description, but sometimes I just like to have my protein and carbs and leave well enough alone!

What are you having for dinner tonight?
What's your favourite "stew" (such an under-inspiring term)?


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