Another recipe I co-opted from Cook’s Complicated, er, Illustrated, well, actually America’s Test Kitchen, so it will undoubtedly show up in the magazine, is called Chinese beef. Whatever. Chinese food needs a Chinese name in my book. It was supposed to use boneless short ribs but I had already purchased the beef, organic, humanely raised stew meat (I was at Whole Foods, it was there, I bought it) and I really didn’t have any idea what I was going to do with it and then I watched TV. That just sucks me in.
The braising liquid is simple enough to throw together and the meat just gets plopped into it and then into the oven. The difference is that short ribs end up falling apart and this meat, whatever it was, became little cubes of toughness even after 3 hours at 300 degrees.
After the braising you remove the meat, then strain out the ginger, garlic and scallions and reduce the liquid to a syrup. This takes 30 seconds. Not really, it took like 45 minutes. (I don’t know how they seem to do reduce liquids by half in 4 minutes as they do on all cooking shows.) Add the meat back into the pan and voila: Wel hong gai guy or char su beef. Whatever.
At some point it all tastes the same once you add hoisin sauce. It was good, tough, but good.