from one generation to the next
A significant proportion of Melbourne’s population has Chinese heritage. Some date the migration of their Chinese ancestors back to the gold rush era of the 1860s, but most have come to our shores since the relaxation of the draconian “White Australia Policy” in the 1970s. Early Chinese restaurants in Melbourne’s Little Bourke Street served Cantonese food adapted to suit the Anglo Australian palate. Since the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 and the resulting influx of students, there has been a greater diversification of regional cuisines and a seismic shift to authenticity.
Wok cooking is commonplace in Australia. In forty years households have adopted and adapted stir frying as a quick and nutritious way to prepare a family meal. Only more recently has exposure to genuine regional Chinese cuisines through restaurants meals and media savvy chefs such as Kylie Kwong exposed us to using traditional Chinese seasonings and spicing to steaming, braising and serving raw food.
Red Master Stock is the perfect braising medium for beef. It not only adds spice, fragrance and umami, the secondary cut of meat becomes incredibly moist and flavoursome. Red braised beef ribs are delicious served hot, or pulled apart and served cold.
1.5 kg beef short ribs
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1/4 cup Shaoxing cooking wine
5cm pice fresh root ginger, finely sliced
2 cinnamon sticks
2 sticks cassia bark
4 star anise
4 large pieces of dried mandarin peel
1 teaspoon Szechun peppercorns
4 spring onion, soft green tops only
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons salt reduced tamari
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon garlic infused oil
1 tablespoon black vinegar
Water to cover
Preheat the oven to 160C.
Heat the peanut oil in a heavy based oven proof casserole dish. Thoroughly brown the beef ribs, remove and set aside.
Deglaze the pan with the Shaoxing wine, then add the aromatics, spices, sauces and oils. Return the beef to the pan, then add enough water to cover the ribs.
Cover the pan and oven braise for 2 hours.
Remove the ribs from the braising liquid and chill. Strain the solids from the liquid and chill. Remove and discard the raft of solidified fat.
Return the ribs and the braising liquid to the pan to reheat.
Serve on a bed of rice with Chinese greens.