- 500g beef casserole chuck steak (or brisket if available), cut into chunks
- 1 small onion
- 1 liter beef stock
- ¼ cup light soy sauce
- 1-2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 3 tbsp rice cooking wine
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 3 slices of ginger, crushed
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 star anise
- Black peppercorns
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ½ tsp cinnamon powder
- ½ tsp five-spice powder
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- Spring onion, chopped into ringlets
1. Heat a tbsp of oil in a pot. Pan-fry beef in batches until browned. Scoop out and set aside.
2. Add a bit of oil to the same pot and sauté onions until caramelized.
3. Pour stock to deglaze. Add soy sauce, oyster sauce, cooking wine and sesame oil. Bring to boil. Lower heat and throw in ginger, garlic, star anise, peppercorns, some freshly ground pepper, bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Dump in the browned beef as well.
4. Simmer, adding more stock if necessary, until beef fat is melt-in-your-mouth tender but the meat is just right – not falling apart. It took about 1½ to 2 hours.
5. Scoop out beef pieces and transfer to a serving platter. Strain broth through a sieve or strainer to remove chunks and return broth to the pot (should be cleaned of bits and pieces as well). Broth should be at least 2 cups if you like more sauce. Bring to boil then simmer.
6. Combine cornstarch with little water in a small bowl. Stir to dissolve and set aside. You may also start scooping steamed rice into rice bowls and arranging beef pieces on top.
7. Add brown sugar, cinnamon powder and five-spice powder to the simmering pot. Taste. I’m pretty sure it’s just right at this stage but feel free to season more with soy sauce or anything you want. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
8. Pour cornstarch mixture and stir until the sauce thickens.
9. Remove from heat. Drizzle over cooked beef and garnish with spring onions.