I’m starting off with a caveat first. This recipe is not the usual Chinese beef stew – this is actually on another post on Cantonese braised beef brisket. Rather, this is a beef stew with Asian tones, slightly spicy and rich flavours. I’ve been rather pleased that kid#2 has been taking more spicy food and we’ve already brought her twice to Banana Lead Apollo for fish head curry! So it was without any qualms that I now throw in a chili or two into a stew or casserole.
Beef is something that the kids (and husband) really love…and the iron content I suppose is also good for my aging parents who live with me. I love cooking hearty meals for the family over the weekend; the problem comes when I have a packed schedule on Sundays for meetings. So I’m still in love with the Instant Pot for being able to throw a stew together in the morning and retrieve it in the evening. So that’s exactly what I did – I put the stew ingredients into the pot in the morning and at 6 pm when I finally got home, I opened up the pot, took out the meat and reduced the gravy. Easy peasy.
The Asian tones in the stew comes from the soy sauce, ginger and Chinese wine – these are quintessentially Chinese, I think. If I were making an “ang moh” or Western style beef stew I would use Worcestershire sauce, red wine, and bay leaves instead. What is amazing is regardless of what ingredients one throws in, somehow pressure cooking still allows the flavours to be driven deep into the meat and slow braising seems to hold no great advantage from the flavour perspective. Regardless, the dish had umami flavours and qualified as a great comfort food close to a long day out.
Instant Pot Chinese Beef Brisket Stew
- 1 kg beef brisket, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
- 1 medium sized onion, chopped
- 4 ribs celery, chopped into large chunks
- 2 medium carrots, cut into 1 inch thick rounds
- 1 chili, sliced into large pieces
- 1 knob of ginger, about 1 inch thick, peeled and sliced into pieces.
- 1.5 tbsp Chu Hou paste
- 1 can of chopped tomatoes
- 1.5 cup chicken stock
- 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 3 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp oil
- Put the Instant Pot into sauté mode. Heat up the oil.
- Sear the beef pieces in batches, browning on all sides. Remove and set aside.
- Sauté the onions, carrots, celery, ginger and chili for 2-3 minutes till slightly caramelized.
- Add the meat back into the pot and add the soy sauce, chinese cooking wine, Chu Hou paste, chopped tomatoes and chicken stock. Stir through and ensure the meat is immersed in the braising liquid.
- Turn off the sauté mode and close the lid of the pot and turn the vent into sealed position.
- Put on manual high pressure for 45 minutes.
- Allow normal pressure release.
- Skim off the layer of oil on top of the stew.
- Remove the meat and vegetable chunks from the pot and put into a large casserole dish.
- Put the pot back onto sauté mode and reduce the gravy for about 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle xanthan gum over the surface of the gravy and stir vigorously as the gravy thickens for 1-2 minutes.
- Pour the gravy over the meat and serve hot.