Braised Root Veggies & Beef
Red braising, or 红烧 (hongshao), is a classic cooking technique in Shanghainese and Cantonese cuisine. A red sauce of dark soy and Chinese wine is used to slowly cook meat until it’s rich and tender.
This technique is perfect for lean meat, for example a beef sirloin tip. The slow cooking solves the main drawback of lean cuts - which is that they tend to be tough and dry. Even better - add root vegetables to soak up the broth and create contrasting textures! Lastly - red braise typically uses sugar and MSG, but replace those with onions for natural sweetness and savoriness. Yum!
500g lean beef, like sirloin tip
1 red onion
6 shiitake mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons regular soy sauce
3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
Half cup of Chinese yellow wine
1 liter of water
2 stalks of bamboo shoots
2 medium carrots
step 1: prepare the ingredients
Cut to sirloin tip into 3cm cubes. Dice the onions and the mushrooms. These three ingredients are the base for the braise.
STEP 2: SEAR FOR FLAVOR
Place a wok over high heat and add the oil. Once it's hot, add the sirloin. Cook until browned on the bottom, then flip. Add the onions, then the mushrooms. Stir everything and cook until browned.
STEP 3: START THE BRAISE
Get a deep pot and transfer the beef, onions, and mushrooms to it. Add to this both kinds of soy sauce, the wine, and the water. The water level should be about three times as high as the dry ingredients. Bring to a boil, then lower down to a slow simmer.
STEP 4: PREPARE THE ROOT VEGETABLES
Meanwhile, prepare the bamboo and carrots. Peel the husks off the bamboo, then cut into big bit-sized slices. Cut the carrots the same size. Wait until the meat has been on the stove simmering for two hours. Then add both to the pot.
STEP 5: FINISH
Cook the braise another hour, checking to make sure the water covers everything, and add water if needed. By the end, the water level will have dropped, and the meat should look dark and tender. Make a serving with pieces of each ingredient, and pour some sauce over.