Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Chinese Beef Stew with Daikon

It was only last Sunday when we put on our shorts and flip-fops to welcome the apparent arrival of spring. And then late last night came the snowstorm that brings the temperature down from the 70's to 20's, together with 12 inches of snow. Throughout the day, the incessant snow that resembled sifted flour had me wonder if the angels have been busy baking for somebody's birthday.

beef stew

Seems like the season for comfort stews is far from over. For a wintry night like this, I love having a pot of hearty beef stew simmering on top of the stove to welcome OCT home. Because I still have some beautiful daikons left from making my favorite Crispy Daikon Cake, I decided to make an Asian inspired beef stew. There's a kind of Chinese beef stew which has daikon in it which my friend E used to rave about. She said that her grandma made the best Chinese beef stew with daikon in the entire world. Growing up in a family that doesn't eat beef, I have unfortunately not tasted this form of beef stew before. Neither have I met up with E's legendary grandma who makes the mean pot of chinese beef stew. So this is my take on the chinese beef stew with daikon. The way I envision it to be.In my humble opinion, I wouldn't think it resembles the original version in anyway, but this version is delicious nonetheless.

beef stew

To inject some chinese flavor in this beef stew, I use some whole unpeel garlic cloves, star anises and five spice powder to season the broth. Instead of fresh cremini and white button mushrooms, dried shiitakes are reconstituted and used. Then I decided to incorporate some of my favorite elements of a classic American beef stew, such as red wine, swanson's low sodium beef broth and carrot into the pot.

You can call it the Americanized Chinese Beef Stew if you must, since I don't make the beef broth from scratch using beef bones, and traded the Chinese Shaoxing wine (which I obviously have in the pantry) for the bottle of leftover red in my fridge. Whatever. Wait. Let's call it......MAC BeST. (Mandy's Americanized Chinese Beef Stew, get it? :))

I know. It's lame. Just humor me by pretending that it's funny for a second, ok?


I am submitting this recipe for the Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Anna of Morsels and Musings this week. The rest of the world deserve to know that daikon tastes great in beef stew. :)

MAC BeST (Mandy's Americanized Chinese Beef Stew)

1.5 pounds sirloin tip roast,trimmed and cubed
2 medium onion, peeled and minced
1 large daikon, ( about 12-14 oz) peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1.5 cups chopped carrot
2 cups of low sodium beef broth
1 cup red wine
2 cups water
10-15 dried shiitake mushroom, reconstituted in warm water for 1 hour until soft, halved or quartered, depending on how big the shiitake mushrooms are
1/2 tsp five spice powder
2 star anise
5 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tsp salt
white pepper

Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 10 minutes or until tender and golden brown. Remove to a plate.

Place flour in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Dredge beef in flour, shaking off excess. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil + 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add half of beef mixture; sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Cook 6 minutes, browning on all sides. Add browned beef to onion. Repeat procedure with remaining beef mixture and 1/8 teaspoon salt.

Add 1 cup wine to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add star anise, five spice powder, broth, sugar, mushrooms and garlic cloves; bring to a boil. Stir in beef mixture. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for one hour or until beef is tender.

Stir in daikon and carrot. Simmer for one and a half hour to two hour or until beef and vegetables are very tender and sauce is thick, stirring occasionally. Taste and season with salt and pepper. If time allows, increase the total cooking time to 3 hours, so that all the ingredients have more time to meld together.

p/s: The beef stew tastes better the next day!


Cannelle Et Vanille said...

Love beef stew and love the new look of your blog! Well done!

Happy Homebaker said...

Wow, your beef stew looks so appetising!! and I like the new look of your blog :)

Veron said...

Mandy, how you remind me of the beef stew I love growing up. With the mention of daikon I could almost taste it right now. Yummy!

Real Life Sarah said...

Your menu bar looks wonderful! And so does the stew! I have lots of beef in the freezer and I'm tired of my three recipes, so I'll try this one!

Deborah said...

I don't care if this is Americanized - it sounds delicious!!

tigerfish said...

I know how daikon taste in beef stew. Delicious!
Natural sweetening to the beef stew , ya? Love it!
Oh yes, the stew period is not over yet. I have done it too!

Oh, like your new layout. I'm in the process of fine-tuning mine as well :)

Cookie baker Lynn said...

What beautiful roses! Americanized means easier in my book.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Every time I buy diakon, I end up grated it in salads. Thanks so much for this wonderfully savory recipe. My husband will be thrilled to have it!

Kalyn Denny said...

It sounds very good to me. I never thought of using daikon in stew, but I bet it is delicious!

kari kari said...

Chinese beef stew Daikon looks like our very own kaldereta recipe. Lookks so appetizing. I have to search on google because I don't know what Daikon is, It is just a radish, LOL...

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