Braised Beef Shank in Sichuan Dressing
Make the most of a cheaper beef cut with beautifully slow braised beef shack in Sichuan dressing. The sauce is nutty from sesame oil with a kick of chilli oil.
This is one of those dishes where beef shank, a cheap cut of meat that is full of muscle, is transformed into an elegant, tasty dish. I cook it slowly for hours until tender in a rich braising liquid. Once cooked, it is left to cool and then sliced, dressed and garnished. This makes a great cold starter, perfect for entertaining as it can be made hours ahead.
|300g (11oz)||piece of braising beef (shank or shin)|
|For the braising sauce:|
|500ml (17fl oz)||water|
|2.5cm (1in)||piece fresh root ginger, peeled and sliced|
|2 tbsp||Shaoxing rice wine (or dry sherry)|
|1 tsp||Chinese five-spice powder|
|1 tsp||Sichuan peppercorns|
|3||pieces of dried tangerine peel|
|1 tbsp||dark soy sauce|
|3 tbsp||light soy sauce|
|20g (¾ oz)||Chinese rock sugar (or 2 tablespoons soft brown sugar)|
|3 tsp||caster sugar|
|½ tsp||sea salt|
|For the Sichuan dressing:|
|2 tsp||chilli oil|
|¼ tsp||toasted and ground Sichuan peppercorns|
|1 tbsp||Chinese clear (plain) rice vinegar (or cider vinegar)|
|2 tbsp||braising liquid|
|1 tbsp||toasted sesame oil|
|For the garnish:|
|toasted white sesame seeds|
|1||spring onion, finely chopped|
Slicing along the grain, cut the beef into four rectangular chunks. Blanch it in a pan of boiling water for 2 minutes and remove any scum. Rinse the beef, place it in a pot with all the ingredients for the braising sauce and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer on a low heat for 3 hours until the beef is tender and juicy. Remove and leave to cool, then keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the braising liquid for the dressing. (You can combine the remainder with stock to make a delicious broth for soup noodles.)
Combine all the ingredients for the Sichuan dressing in a bowl and put to one side.
To serve, shred the beef and place on a serving plate. Drizzle with the Sichuan dressing, then sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds and spring onion on top and serve immediately.