Delicious Chinese Beef Stew with Potatoes
Chinese Beef Stew with Potatoes is a flavorful delight that combines tender beef, aromatic spices, and comforting potatoes. It’s a beloved classic in Chinese cuisine.
700 grams of beef, diced into chunks (approximately 1.5 pounds, see note 1)
2 tablespoons of neutral cooking oil
2 sliced onions
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, smashed
2 star anises
1 piece of cassia cinnamon (Chinese cinnamon)
2 bay leaves
2 dried chilies (optional)
2 tablespoons of light soy sauce
1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon of Shaoxing rice wine
600 milliliters of hot water (approximately 2.5 cups)
¼ teaspoon of salt (adjust to taste)
3 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and diced into chunks (about 350 grams or 12 ounces)
1 medium-sized carrot, diced into chunks (about 120 grams or 4 ounces)
Chopped coriander (cilantro) for garnish (optional)
- Place the beef in a pot and add enough cold water to cover the meat completely. Bring the water to a rolling boil and use a spoon to remove any froth from the surface. Then, drain the beef well.
- In a clean pot, heat the cooking oil over medium-low heat. Sauté the sliced onions until they become soft and lightly browned. Stir in the smashed ginger and all of the spices, and continue to cook until they become fragrant.
- Add the boiled beef to the pot, along with the light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, Shaoxing rice wine, and hot water. Bring the mixture to a vigorous boil, and then lower the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot with a lid and let it simmer for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until the meat becomes tender (refer to note 3 & 4). Taste the broth and add a small amount of salt if needed.
- Add the peeled and diced potato and carrot chunks to the pot. If the mixture appears too dry, you have the option to incorporate some water. Allow the vegetables to simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes or until they are fully cooked.
- If desired, you can increase the heat to reduce the broth, although this step is entirely optional. If you like, garnish the dish with chopped coriander (cilantro). Serve it promptly with steamed white rice.
- Opt for beef cuts with higher collagen and fat content for the best results. Braising steak, also known as chunk, is an excellent choice.
- If you don’t have all the spices on hand, feel free to omit 1-2 of them.
- If you have a thick-walled pot with a well-fitting lid, such as a Dutch oven, it’s recommended to use it. Otherwise, halfway through cooking, check the water level and add a bit more if needed.
- To expedite the cooking process, you can also use a stovetop pressure cooker or an Instant Pot for braising the beef.
WHAT IS CHINESE BEEF STEW
The recipe we’re sharing today is for Chinese beef stew with potatoes (土豆炖牛肉). This dish holds a special place in my heart as it was a comforting and hearty meal that my dad used to prepare regularly. It involves slow-braising beef chunks with a blend of spices and soy sauce until they become incredibly tender. To enhance both flavor and nutrition, we also incorporate potatoes and carrots into the stew.
Chinese beef stew with potatoes is a popular and widely enjoyed dish throughout China, with various regional and household variations. While each version has its own unique taste, my family’s rendition holds a cherished spot in my culinary memories.