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Braised Beef {Hong Shao Niu Rou 红烧牛肉}

Easy & Juicy Red Braised Beef Chinese Style

by HomeNaturallyMade
Braised Beef {Hong Shao Niu Rou}

Red Braised Beef {Hong Shao Niu Rou 红烧牛肉} featuring juicy and yummy bite-size beef chunks can be an easy dish to cook in under 1 hour, as long as you know a few tips & tricks. They are perfect to pair with a bowl of rice or noodle soup.

As we sear the beef before braising, it also significantly cut down the time required to cook the beef. Rest assured, you can cook this tasty beef in under 1 hour. Most importantly, this way, the beef remains juicy and tender.

Braised Beef {Hong Shao Niu Rou}

How to cook a juicy Braised Beef?

Tip No.1 is to marinate the beef properly

The first thing first after you cut the beef across the grain into bite-size chunks is to soak them in cold water. It will help get rid of the trapped blood and hydrate the meat. Then mix the beef with a tiny bit of baking soda to tenderize the meat. Following that, add Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, Zhenjiang vinegar, and a bit of sugar to further tenderize and flavor the beef.

Use a pair of bamboo spatulas to toss beef chunks until everything is blended well. Following that, add a pinch of arrowroot flour, my go-to superfood starch to wrap the tenderized and flavored beef. Last but not least is to add a splash of cooking oil to lock in the moisture and flavor.

marinating bite-size beef chunks for braised beef

This is the same technique I use to tenderize beef for stir fry like Mongolian Beef and Beef with Broccoli.

how to prepare and tenderize beef for cooking?
how to prepare and tenderize beef for cooking?

Tip No.2 is to sear the marinated beef properly before braising

Heat the frying pan first and then add a little bit of oil, spread out the oil using a silicone spatula. Add a small batch of marinated beef, no more than one pound into the pan, try to lay them flat with minimal overlapping, and cook for about 2 minutes. Then flip and toss the beef until beef is fully browned, about 2 minutes.

I recommend using a quality hard anodized frying pan for this step. It is made with healthy materials, can endure high-temperature cooking, and has a superb non-stick function. Why non-stick function is important here? It helps using less oil and keeps the coating stay wrapped around beef for the ultimate tender yumminess.

Sear beef in a hard anodized frying pan

Tip No.3 is to braise the seared beef appropriately for a tasty Braised Beef

I usually use a dutch oven or cast iron wok for the braising step. Both have superb heat retention capabilities.

Add the braising juice & spices along with 2 cups of water to a dutch oven or cast iron wok, and bring it to a boil. Then turn the heat to simmer, add the seared beef and cook for 30 minutes.

Last but not least is to turn the heat back to medium-high, turn and toss the beef with the remaining juice in the pot for 5 minutes. This enhances the caramelization of the beef.

Enjoy a super tasty Braised Beef!

Braised Beef in a dutch oven
Braised Beef {Hong Shao Niu Rou}

Braised Beef Recipe {Hong Shao Niu Rou 红烧牛肉}

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Red Braised Beef Chinese Style featuring juicy and yummy bite-size beef chunks can be an easy dish to cook in under one hour, as long as you know a few tips and tricks.

Ingredients

  • 2 lb beef, top round or chuck

For Marinating the Beef:

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Zhenjiang vinegar
  • 2 tsp cane sugar
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot flour
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil, such as canola or avocado oil

For Searing the Beef:

  • 1 tbsp cooking oil, such as canola or avocado oil, etc.
  • 1 small piece of ginger, thin sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 green onion stalk, chopped

For Braising the Beef:

  • 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp cane sugar
  • 1 dried red chili pepper
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 bay leaves
  • half dried orange peel
  • one small piece of cinnamon bark, or 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp red yeast rice powder, freshly ground
  • 2 cup water

Instructions

Prep Work:

  • Gather Ingredients. Cut beef across the grain into bite-size chunks, not overly thick please, and soak in the cold water for about 10 minutes, change the water and rinse a couple of times.
    Braised Beef Ingredients

Marinate the Beef:

  • Remove the beef from the water, gently squeeze to get rid of the extra water, and place in a mixing bowl.
  • Add baking soda, toss and mix well using a pair of bamboo spatulas. Then add Shaoxing wine, dark soy sauce, Zhenjiang vinegar, and sugar, toss and mix well again.
  • Following that, add arrowroot flour, toss and mix well again. Lastly, add the cooking oil and toss and mix well. Set aside.
    marinating bite-size beef chunks for braised beef

Sear the Beef:

  • We are going to sear the beef in two batches.
  • Turn the heat to medium-high and heat a hard anodized frying pan for 1 minute and then add 1/2 tbsp canola oil and half of the minced ginger, garlic, and chopped green onion, along with half of the marinated beef chunks.
  • Try to lay them flat with minimal overlapping and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Frequently turn or flip the beef and cook for another 2 minutes or so, or till beef is properly browned.
    Sear beef in a hard anodized frying pan
  • Remove the beef from the pan and place them on a plate and set it aside. Repeat the above step to sear the remaining part of the marinated beef.
  • Then add the first batch back to the pan and stir fry for about 1 minute.
    seared beef chunks in the frying pan

Braise the Beef:

  • Use a dutch oven or cast iron wok to braise the beef. Turn the heat to medium-high and add everything under "For Braising the Beef" and bring it to a boil, and then turn the heat to simmer.
    Braising juice for beef in the dutch oven
  • Add the seared beef into the dutch oven, fold them into the braising juice, cover the lid and cook for 30 minutes, turn and mix halfway through.
    Braise beef in the dutch oven
  • Turn the heat back to medium-high, stir and turn the beef using a flexible turner for about 5 minutes.
  • All done! Enjoy a super juicy and yummy Braised Beef.
    Braised Beef in a dutch oven

Notes

  • Red Yeast Rice {Hong Qu Mi} is an ancient Chinese ingredient. They are white rice fermented in a certain way that turns the white rice into red rice. It is an all-natural superfood that has a beautiful bright red color. I use a little bit here to enhance the color. By the way, I also use red yeast rice as a natural-red color to make the yummy Red Velvet Cake.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 517Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 150mgSodium: 1311mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 53g

Nutrition calculation is provided by Nutritionix to the best knowledge per ingredients description and isn't always accurate.

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