Today we are making beef stew with tomatoes (番茄炖牛腩). This is one of those recipes that you cook once, eat all week. It is time-consuming but the actual prep time is not that much. You cook this on the weekend, then you have it for the whole week. Serve it with rice, noodles, Quinoa. You can even be creative, cook beef and chicken thigh together in the same pot. Then you 2 different meat to eat for the week.
Beef w/ Tomato Stew (番茄炖牛腩)
- 1 kg 2.2lb of beef (You can use brisket, beef chuck, shank, beef short ribs)
- 1.6 kg 3.5lb of tomatoes
- 230 g 0.5 lb onion
- 4 cloves Garlic
- 1 piece Orange peel
- 3 pieces Bay leaves
- 1 piece of Cinnamon stick
- 2 piece Star anise
- 5 tbsp 3 ozTomato paste
- 2 tbsp Chu Hou paste Optional
- 1 tbsp Sugar
- 2.5 tsp of salt
- Cilantro as garnish
- Make a slight cross mark on the bottom of the tomato by using a sharp little blade. Put the tomatoes in boiling hot water for 30 seconds. Take them out. Peel the skin off. Remove the hard stem. Roughly cut the tomato into big chunks. Set it aside.
- Finely dice 1 medium-size onion. Cut 1/2 lb of carrot into big chunks. Set aside.
- Cut 1 kg of beef into 1.5 inches cubes.
- Add 2 tbsp of cooking oil to the cast iron pot. Sear the beef until nice and brown. Take the beef out.
- Use the same pot to saute the garlic, onion, star anise, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, and dried orange peel over medium heat. The moisture from the onion will help to deglaze the pot.
- When the onion is soft and translucent, add the 5 tbsp of tomato paste and 1.5 tbsp of Chu Hou paste (It is a Cantonese seasoning that we often use to make beef stew. It adds a nice complexity to the dish). If you don’t have it, don’t worry, because it is optional. Or if you don’t mind the dish being a bit spicy, you can use Sichuan Dou Ban Jiang.
- Stir to combine the tomato paste and the Chu Hou paste. Toss in the tomato chunks. Remain a little bit of tomato to add at the end. Introduce the beef back into the pot. Stir to combine everything.
- Keep the heat at medium-low. Put on the lid. Bring the pot to a boil. Seasoning it with salt and sugar. Be sure to taste and adjust the flavor.
- Turn the heat to the lowest and simmer this for 2 hours. Again, you might need to adjust the cooking time depends on what cut you are using.
- 30 minutes before it is done, add in the carrots chunks. Cover the lid and wait for the carrots to be done.
- Before serving, add the remaining tomatoes. Give it a final taste to make sure the flavor is right.