I am currently reclined on the lounge, sipping merlot and eating brie whilst Ben and his brother play Resident Evil. Permeating the loungeroom, adrift from the kitchen across the hall, are the rich smells of what is essentially a Chinese pot roast.
I can’t recall exactly what inspired this recipe the first time I made it but Ben very much encouraged me to take note of the recipe so it could be recreated. The first time, however, I had used braising beef from one of the major supermarkets and although the flavours were amazing, the actual quality of the meat left me disappointed. Since then, I’ve stopped buying protein from the supermarket and instead only buy from my local butcher. Although the prices are a bit more expensive, it is better value for money. You see, the major supermarkets pump their meat with water so when you cook it, it shrinks, meaning what you thought was 2lb of meat is actually only slightly more than 1lb.
The meat may be cheap in uncooked weight, but once cooked it is grossly overpriced.
It’s shocking and disgusting.
Plus, shopping at your local butcher keeps small business alive which as we all know is incredibly important.
Either way, back to the recipe! You’ll notice that I pre-boil the brisket prior to braising it in the sauce. This is essential as it removes all the fatty gunk that would otherwise float to the top of the sauce, making it cloudy and ghastly. Bringing the meat to the boil in plain water beforehand, and discarding that water entirely, prevents this from happening and in no way affects the texture or flavour of the meat.
What Will I Need?
2lb beef brisket
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, sliced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1inch of ginger, minced
1 tsp minced chili
2 cups beef stock
1/2 cup tamari soy sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 tbsp Chinese Shaoxing wine
1 tbsp honey
- In a large pot, cover the beef brisket with cold water and bring to the boil.
- Once boiling, strain the brisket discarding all liquid, and set aside.
- In a large pot, heat the oil over low-medium heat, and cook the onion for ten minutes or until soft.
- Add the garlic, ginger and chili and cook for an additional five minutes or until onion has started to colour.
- Combine stock, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, Shaoxing wine and honey. Separate 1/2 cup of liquid and set aside.
- Add the remaining stock mixture to the onions and bring to the boil over high heat.
- Add the beef to the boiling stock mixture, cover with a lid, and reduce to low heat.
- Simmer covered for three hours, turning the brisket every half hour.
- Remove the beef from the pot, keeping the sauce simmering, and dice into large pieces.
- To the 1/2 cup stock, add the cornflour and stir until well combined.
- Add the cornflour slurry to the pot and stir through until the sauce has thickened.
- Return diced brisket to the pot and simmer an additional 5-10 minutes.
- Serve the beef brisket with rice, sticky buns, and Asian greens.