Friday, June 22, 2012

A new pot and and the break up

This weeks culinary post involves change in our lives. The (now ritual) Sunday night cook up with the youngest son has branched out nicely with such dishes as hand made gnococci with 4 types of mushroom sauce and even a lasagne with 7 types of roasted meat in it. In the search for new dishes, new authors are sought out and this week a Chinese dish was presented for production.

Regardless of how you view me, at heart - I'm Lazy guy.

This means if I can only use one pot then all good. If not I will immediately invoke the " I cooked you have to clean" rule. This is especially true if it was a messy dish that required every pot and pan in the house.

So the idea of a one pot meal has intrigued me greatly. The main problem is I have never had a "one pot"

Its something that has eluded me until now. I was admiring an earthen ware pot in the store near me, the sales lady called out to me from behind the counter " Very good pot, can do everything" then I thought what the assistant then said was "one is in Chinese and one is in English, you need the English one" So I started sorting the boxes in to piles of Chinese marked boxes and English marked boxes. Turns out what she actually said was " one side is in Chinese and the other side is in English just turn the box over"

Now I have to throw out something out because the cupboard is full and because clutter is not good
As per this post you need to be organised you can't keep everything. Problem is I'm chicken.

I don't know which item to move out in the cupboard to make room for my new baby.

So I delegated the task. I left the pot on the bench above the cupboard and waited. And as per standard operating procedure, the beloved cleaned the cupboard and found room for the pot. The mere fact that something did not have a place was just too much for her to bear.

So now I don't have the guilt of having to look at the pot or item that was discarded and say " Thanks but it's time we broke up as I need to use other pots "

Its essentials a win / win situation.

I'm just to soft when it comes to this sort of thing.

Anyway on the the recipe.

2 Brown onions chopped
50g ginger
some coriander stalks chopped
3 cloves of garlic
60ml oil
1.25 kg of shin or brisket cut into 4cm chunks
2 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
6 star anise
1 tsp peppercorns
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup light soy sauce + 2 tsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp tomato paste
700ml beef stock

Jasmine rice to serve.

Preheat the oven to160c
Grind up the ginger, coriander and garlic in to a paste ( I used the mortar and pestle because it's fun )
Heat up the pot on the stove top with the oil, cook the beef for 3-4 mins in batches and set aside.
Lower the heat to about half and cook the paste you made with 1/3 of a cup of water for 3 mins. Add the star anise, five spice and peppercorns, cook for another minute and then add the soy sauces, sugar, tomato paste and the beef. Sir thoroughly and then add the stock so it just covers the beef. Bring to to boil then put on the lid and transfer the pot to the oven for 2.5 hours.
It will look like this - sort of a stew

Remove the beef from the mixture with a slotted spoon and set aside in a warm spot. Boil the remaining sauce on the stove top until it reduces to at least half the volume and thickens up a little.

Put back in the beef  and you're ready to go. Serve with the rice.

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