It has been a little chilly here lately in SD, so I pulled out this old favorite that I found years ago in Bon Appetit. This is really a warm, comforting meal on a cold evening. It is a variation of Chinese beef stew which you can find many different incarnations of depending on which region of China you are talking about. This is probably most similar to Cantonese style ones.
I often alter this recipe by using beef shanks, stew meat, tendons, tripe or any combination of beef cuts that you think you would like. P’s favorite is always stew meat and tendons. You can alter the cooking time depending on the cuts you decide to use. I will also usually add in thick chunks of daikon and carrots during the last hour of cooking to up the nutritional value of the meal.
The flavor does really improve overnight and even more after a couple of days, so this recipe works better if you make it ahead on the weekend and eat it during the week. Also, if you happen to have a cast iron pot, I recommend using it over a regular pot. I also will serve this with cooked thick Chinese noodles as a soup noodle dish by adding a bit more chicken stock to the bowls and skipping the reduction step.
Braised Oxtails with Star Anise and Chinese Greens
- 12 (2- to 2 1/2-inch-thick) oxtail pieces (about 4 1/2 pounds), fat trimmed
- 2 cups low-salt chicken broth (or water)
- 1 large onion, halved, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 8 large garlic cloves, peeled
- 8 whole star anise
- 6 (1/4-inch-thick) rounds fresh ginger
- 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Chinese brown bean sauce (not ground)
- 12 to 18 yu choy, baby choy sum, or baby bok choy
- Chopped green onions