Saturday, 15 January 2011

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Chinese Beef Stew/Kinesisk Oksekødsstuvning/炖牛肉[dùn niú ròu]


Serves 4

Preparation & Cooking Time: 1.5 hour (for pressure cooker) or 4 hours for normal cooking

Ingredients:
- 500g of stew beef
- 1 beef bone (optional)
- 5 carrots chopped into medium size 1 inch pieces
- 8 dried shitake mushrooms
- 2 onions chopped
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 thumb size ginger chopped
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5 star anise
- 5 cloves
- 1 cardamom
- 1 litres of water (including the water used for soaking the mushrooms)
- 1 tsp sugar (optional)
- 2 tsp cooking oil
- 5 TBS Chinese light soy sauce
- 1 TBS Chinese dark soy sauce (optional)
- 1 TBS sesame oil
- 1 pinch salt
- Sprinkle of black pepper
- 5 TBS oatmeal ground (optional, use this if you wish to thicken the soup)

Directions:
1. Soak the dried shitake mushrooms for 15 minutes and cut into quarters.

2. Cut the beef into big cubes about 1 inch by 1 inch.

3. Fry garlic, ginger and onion until golden.

4. Add mushrooms and fry until fragrant.

5. Add beef and brown it.

6. Add the carrots.

7. Add the beef bones, all the spices, sesame oil, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, salt and pepper.

8. Add the ground oatmeal mixed with the water and add it to the pot (optional).

9. Close the pressure cooker and bring to pressure (under setting 2 for mine), then cook for 30 minutes. If you are not using a pressure cooker, simmer in a pot or slow cooker for 3 hours.

10. If you wish to thicken the soup, add the oatmeal powder with some water into the soup and stir and bring to bowl until the soup thickens.

11. Garnish with spring onions if desired and serve with rice.

Tips:
1. Make noodle soup with left over beef stew.

2. If you have a toddler who doesn't like beef, you can scoop out some of the broth and add cod fish and serve the soup and the cod fish with the rice noodles.

Nutritional Value:
The 5 spices used in this soup is very beneficial for health. The star anise seeds are an excellent source of many essential B-complex vitamins such as pyridoxine, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin. Pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) helps increase GABA neuro-chemical levels in the brain.

The spicy seeds are great source of minerals like calcium, iron, copper, potassium, manganese zinc and magnesium. Potassium in an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. The star anise also contains good amounts of anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin-C and vitamin-A.

Cloves are an excellent source of manganese, a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K and omega-3 fatty acids and a good source of calcium and magnesium.

Cinnamon is an excellent source of manganese and a very good source of dietary fiber, calcium and iron.

Seasoning a high carb food with cinnamon can help lessen its impact on your blood sugar levels. Cinnamon slows the rate at which the stomach empties after meals, reducing the rise in blood sugar after eating. It is also helpful in lessening inflammation.

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Additional Information:
I like to make stew such as the Chinese beef stew or the italian Osso Bucco especially on weekend when we usually have a packed programme and I can't reach home in time to make dinner. With stew, I can start making dinner way ahead of time already in the morning when J is still sleeping. Then we can go out, and by dinner time when we reached home, we can just warm the food and eat dinner. I don't have to spend time making dinner.

Daddy tried the Chinese beef stew at Ting Tai Fung restaurant in Singapore and liked it a lot. So I am making Chinese beef stew for him. I didn't use any oatmeal to thicken the soup on the picture above.

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