Chinese Braised Beef
Why This Recipe Works
In our recipe, we simplify Chinese red-cooked beef for the American kitchen. For meat that cooks up rich and tender, we use readily available boneless beef short ribs in place of traditional (but harder to find) shank of beef; short ribs also cook a lot faster. To streamline the classic cooking method, we eliminate the blanching of the meat, and we move the pot from the stovetop to the oven. A pair of thickeners—gelatin and cornstarch—add body to the sauce. Five-spice powder provides characteristic flavors without the bother of whole spices, and a combination of hoisin sauce and molasses contributes the underlying sweetness that completes the dish.