Five-spice Beef


1-1/2 lb boneless stewing beef, such as chuck or bottom round, trimmed
2 scallions, each tied in a knot
3 slices ginger, smashed with the flat side of a cleaver
4 tablespoons Chinese spirit (Mou Tai) or brandy
6 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons light soy sauce
3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon five-spice powder
5 oz rock sugar
1 scallion, finely sliced
1 teaspoon roasted sesame oil


  1. Cut the beef into 2-3 long strips and place in a clay pot or braising pan with the scallions, ginger, Chinese spirit and stock. Bring to a boil and skim off any impurities. Simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Add the salt, soy sauces, five-spice powder and sugar to the beef, return to a boil, then simmer, covered, for 25-30 minutes.
  3. Allow the beef to cool in the liquid for 1 hour, then remove, drain, and continue to cool for 3-4 hours.
  4. Just before serving, slice thinly against the grain and sprinkle with the chopped scallion and sesame oil.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: The Food of China

Today’s Comic

Grilled Beef Skewers with Red Chimichurri


750 g rump steak, trimmed and cut into 5 cm pieces
1 teaspoon each sea salt and cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 lemon, halved
grilled flatbreads and store-bought hummus, to serve
coriander (cilantro) leaves, to serve,

Red Chimichurri

1/2 red onion, chopped
250 g cherry tomatoes
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons chopped coriander (cilantro)
1/2 teaspoon ground chili
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. Make the Ted chimichurri. Place the red chimichurri ingredients in a small food processor and process to a coarse paste. Set aside.
  2. Place the beef in a large bowl and add the salt, pepper, oil, vinegar and garlic. Toss to coat and thread the beef onto large metal skewers.
  3. Preheat a char-grill pan or barbecue over high heat.
  4. Cook the beef skewers, turning occasionally, for 15-18 minutes for medium rare or until cooked to your liking.
  5. Add the lemon, cut-side down, to the grill for the last 5 minutes of the beef cooking time.
  6. Serve the skewers on grilled flatbreads and top with hummus, coriander, the chimichurri and grilled lemon.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Donna Hay

Today’s Comic

Roast Beef, Yorkshire Pudding and Roast Potatoes


2-1/2 to 3 lb boned and rolled sirloin
1-1/2 oz dripping or lard
1-1/2 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into pieces roughly the size of a small egg
1 tablespoon plain flour
freshly ground black pepper
1-1/4 cup beef stock

Horseradish Sauce

5 oz soured cream
2 tablespoons grated fresh horseradish
salt and pepper to taste

Yorkshire Pudding

4 oz plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1-1/4 cup milk and water mixed


  1. Make the horseradish sauce by mixing the ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Select a roasting tin large enough to hold the meat and potatoes. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  3. Put the roasting tin containing the fat in the oven to heat at the same time.
  4. Cover the potatoes with cold, salted water, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes, then drain thoroughly.
  5. Wipe the meat with damp kitchen paper and rub the cut surfaces with the flour, well seasoned with salt and pepper. Insert a meat thermometer in the centre of the joint and place the meat, fat side uppermost, on a trivet.
  6. Turn the potatoes in the hot fat to coat them, then stand the trivet and meat over the potatoes. Transfer to the centre of the oven and cook for 20 minutes per lb plus 20 minutes, or until the thermometer registers 71°C (160°F) for medium cooked meat.
  7. Make the Yorkshire pudding batter. Sift the flour and salt into a deep basin and make a well in the centre. Drop in the eggs, add half of the milk and water, and with a small wire whisk gradually draw the flour into the liquid and beat until smooth. Beat in the rest of the milk and water and refrigerate until needed.
  8. When the meat is cooked, lift it out of the roasting tin and increase the oven heat to 220°C (425°F). Transfer the joint to a hot carving dish and leave in a warm place to rest for 15 minutes.
  9. Using a perforated spoon, transfer the potatoes to a shallow ovenproof dish and return them to the oven to brown.
  10. Pour a little of the hot fat from the roasting tin into each of 8 large bun tins and divide the batter between them. Cook in the hottest part of the oven for 15-20 minutes until well risen, crisp and golden.
  11. Drain off any surplus fat from the roasting tin, add the stock, stir to dislodge the coagulated juices from the base of the tin and simmer gently.
  12. Arrange the puddings around the joint and serve the potatoes, gravy and horseradish sauce separately.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Source: The encyclopedia of Creative Cooking

Today’s Comic

Stir-fried Beef with Eggs


5 oz beef
5 eggs
several slices ginger
3 stalks spring onion (cut into short sections)


1/2 tbsp light soy
1/3 tsp sugar
1 tsp wine
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp oil


1 tbsp oyster sauce
dash of sesame oil
pinch of pepper
1/2 tbsp light soy
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp sugar
3 tbsp water


  1. Wash and wipe dry beef. Mx with marinade ingredients and set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Parboil beef in hot oil or stir-fry till cooked. Drain off oil and water.
  3. Whisk eggs. Fry in hot oil till just set. Drain off oil.
  4. Mix sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
  5. Sauté ginger, spring onion with 1/2 tbsp oil. Add beef and egg. Sprinkle 1 tsp wine. Add sauce and cook until the sauce is thickened. Remove to serving platter and serve hot.

Source: Guangdong-style Stir-fry

Today’s Comic

Pepper-crusted Steaks with Red Wine Sauce


1 tablespoon mixed peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon flour
2 thinly cut rump steaks, about 5 oz each, fat removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brandy
1/3 cup full-bodied fruity red wine, such as Zinfandel, Merlot, or Cabernet Sauvignon
3 tablespoons fresh beef or chicken broth
1 teaspoon red currant jelly or a few drops of balsamic vinegar (optional)
2 tablespoons sour cream or crème fraiche
your choice of arugula salad and crusty bread garlic mashed potatoes to serve


  1. Put the peppercorns and salt in a mortar and pound with a pestle until coarsely ground. Tip into a shallow dish and mix in the flour.
  2. Dip each steak into the pepper mixture and press the coating in lightly, turning to coat both sides.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the oil and half the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the steaks, and cook for 1-1/2 minutes. Turn them over and cook for 30 seconds on the other side. Transfer the steaks to 2 warm plates.
  4. Pour the brandy into the pan and light it carefully with a long cook’s match or taper. When the flames die down, add the wine and cook for a few seconds. Add the broth and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. Sweeten with a little red currant jelly or balsamic vinegar, if liked, then stir in the sour cream or crème fraiche.
  5. Pour the sauce over the steaks and serve with an arugula salad and some crusty bread. If you’re not in a hurry, this also goes really well with garlic mashed potatoes.

Makes 2 servings.

Source: Cooking with Wine