Get this simple recipe for braised beef for that savory-sweet tender chunks of beef that is rich in flavor and spices. This is a Filipino-Chinese version of braised beef similar to Chowking's.
The first thing that pops into my mind, when I think of braised beef, is "Chowking". It is a favorite Filipino-Chinese fast-food restaurant among Filipinos (myself included).
My favorite dish to order is their famous braised beef rice topping accompanied by Kangkong with bagoong (water spinach with shrimp paste) and hot soup (which used to be free but is now sold for a minimal amount of Php5 last time I was there).
So I guess, you can say that this is my attempt at replicating Chowking's braised beef rice topping.
What is braising?
To quote Wikipedia: " Braising (from the French word, "braiser") is a combination-cooking method that uses both moist and dry heats: typically, the food is first seared at a high temperature, then finished in a covered pot at a lower temperature while sitting in some amount of liquid (which may also add flavor)".
I saw some recipes for braised beef in the net requiring so many different spices and seasonings but I just stick to the basics, like star anise and cloves, and it was enough to do the trick.
Braising Vs. Roasting Vs. Stewing
Braising is a cooking technique that uses both moist and dry heat. Meat is first seared, wherein high heat is applied to the meat to brown the surfaces to build flavor. You can do it using a very hot pan or a grill. Liquid is then added during the second phase and temperature is turned to low and meat is to be cooked until it becomes tender and flavorful.
Roasting, on the other hand, uses only dry heat. It could be an open fire or oven. When you roast, you want to brown the surface of the food or meat to enhance the flavor. Typically, basting the meat with liquid or sauce throughout the roasting process is also done to increase the flavor.
Stewing is similar to braising, both use the low and slow way of cooking. However, unlike in braising where a little amount of liquid is needed, stewing requires that the meat and/or vegetables are fully submerged in the liquid.
What cuts to use for braised beef?
Braising is ideal for tenderizing tough cuts of meat that are also normally less expensive than the prime cuts. These are usually the parts of the cow that work harder, therefore the muscles and connective tissues are stronger.
With braising, the slow cooking part helps tenderize these muscles and tissues as it cooks for a long time at low temperature. The result is flavorful, fork-tender beef!
The ideal cuts for braising or pot roasting are:
- Brisket - meat from the breast or lower chest of beef
- Chuck - shoulder part
- Round - from the rear leg of a cow. Bottom Round Roast
- Short Ribs - come from the loin, chuck, or midrib area.
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 medium onion - chopped
- 1-2 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 pound beef brisket - cut into cubes
- 2-3 cups water
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3-4 pieces star anise
- 3-4 pieces cloves
- 2 pieces bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 cup carrot - cut round about an inch thick
- ½ tablespoon cornstarch - dissolved in ¼ cup water
- spring onions - chopped, for garnish
- Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Then saute garlic and onion until slightly tender. Add the chunk of beef and sear the meat in hot oil on all sides, about 5-7 minutes total.
- Add the rest of the ingredients except for the carrots, cornstarch and spring onions and bring to a simmer, cover pot with lid and turn the heat to low. Let it cook for 40-50 minutes or until the meat is fork tender. You may need to add some water if beef is not yet tender at this point.
- Stir in the carrots and cornstarch mixture and boil the sauce for about 5 minutes or until reduced and becomes thick.
- Serve on top of steamy rice bowls and garnish with some chopped spring onions.
Erica N says
I use to live in the Philippines when I was a teenager, and I use to love going to Chow King and getting the braised beef. I had just need to make it and taste it again. I think this recipe comes close to it, it was so good. I didn't have the star anise, so I just used the 5 spice powder.
I love how simple your recipe is. I just followed everything and the outcome was superb!! everyone loved the dish! ❤️ more power to your blog!
Chowking does not carry braised beef anymore on their menu. I was looking for a way to replicate it without a ton of ingredients. your recipe is good. i didn't have clove but it's still close. thanks for sharing!
Can I use pork shoulder for this recipe? Thank you in advance!
It won't taste the same but sure you can.
This recipe is a winner and will keep it in my arsenal. I tripled the recipe and used both brisket and ribs. The meat came out tender and the sauce was just perfect and plenty enough to mix with rice. Thank you for the lovely recipe!
Glad you like it, Tristan.
Cath D. says
Hi! I'm about to try this recipe of yours but i don't have star anise and cloves on hand. Can i use five spice powder instead? And if so, how much should i put in the recipe. Thanks in advance!
Sure you can, Cath. I say about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon first. You can always add more depending on how you like it later on.
I really like your recipes especially the baked Sushi recipe which I have tried from a pinay friend. By the way, I also live in Germany but in northern part, Hamburg city. More power to your page. Tschüss 🙂
Followed instruction, after an hour it's still very tough/dry... searing should have been before onion and garlic which I think has ruined this recipe.
or it can be the quality of the meat? Some meat can just be so tough even for a prime cut. You could just let it simmer longer until it becomes tender.
Fer M. says
Had the same problem but had to leave it for 1 to 2 hours on low to medium heat instead of the advised 50-60mins. And it worked fine! It was gooood and delicious! It really depends on how tough your meat.
I used beef short rib.
Exactly Fer! Some meat, even the prime cuts, have different tenderness and we have to adjust the cooking time depending on what we have 😉. Glad you like it and thanks for the 5 stars.
We had this for dinner tonight and it was so good! The brisket was still a bit tough though i boiled it for more than an hour but it still tasted great, much like the chowking version. Hubby loved it. Thank you!!!
Yes, some meat needs longer time to get tender than others, depends on the age of the cow. But still, happy that it turned out great for you guys.
Thanks for sharing this recipe. I did not have cornstarch so I used breadcrumbs instead. My husband and his friend loved it.
i made this as well and it was so good. Chowking style but better. 😄
I would recommend searing before sauteing the garlic/onion so they wouldnt burn. Thanks for this recipe please share more.
Glad you like it, Trinity.
Hi! Thank you for the recipe. I don’t have cloves, what other alternatives can u suggest? Can I use five spice instead? Not really sure about that. Thank you!
Hi Erika, fice spice should also taste great!
I am making this today and Im using half kilo chuck. My meat is already simmering for about an hour and liquid has been reduced to half but when I checked the tenderness of the meat, it is still very tough. What tips can you share to make the beef tender?
Hi Dianne, you can just add more water and keep on simmering (covered) until the meat becomes very tender.
Mix in/coat the raw beef with some cornstarch before searing. I believe that's a secret to most Chinese food.
The recipe is just perfect and it is unfair not to say anything! This recipe reminds me of those special days when I get to eat in the restaurant near my workplace while I was a new employee and this recipe has the same taste. I am planning to revisit those old places when I finally go back home. Hopefully the restaurant (i just forgot the name) is still there.
Thanks so much for the lovely comment, Mylene. Yes, we do hope all business could still bounce back from this...stay safe...
I really would like to try your recipe, but I was wondering if after searing the beef, could I just use a slowcooker and put all the ingredients in it?
Hi Mia, I haven't done it using an electric slow cooker but it should work the same...just add the carrots and slurry once the beef is tender.
I cooked this few days ago and it was delicious! I used gravy beef and cooked this in a slow cooker for 4 hours. I followed all the ingredients. And used 2 tablespoons corn flour because I wanted a thicker sauce. This is way better than chowking! Thank you!
Aawww...thanks for the lovely comment and the 5 star-review Anne. Glad you like it!
If I will make 1kg of beef, should I double the other ingredients as well?
Hi Aries, yes, except for water which is only for boiling to tenderize the meat. Just use enough to cover the meat then add more as needed.
Thank you Bebs for posting this! I got a pack of beef but just as I suspected, the meat needed tenderizing (might be from the tough working muscles of the cow). I boiled the meat for at least two hours and reserved the broth, which I swapped for one cup of water.
Hope to bump into you someday and maybe we can share cooking recipes together.
Monica (Germany & Sweden)
The tough cuts are usually the best one for braising and slow cooking. Lots of flavors.
i would llike the recipe for cow foot ineedthe ingredients
We added a bit of tomato puree, more sugar and more soy sauce too add up the flavor and it was delicious!
Thank you for this recipe! I am excited to try it. Could I use chuck roast meat instead of brisket? I do not have brisket on hand.
Sure you can, Mary! I will update this post to include information on what other cuts you can use for this recipe. Thanks!
Irene V. Dingal says
Hello! I will try this...
You look like my high school teacher, pretty chef 🙂
Thank you for your recipes... I'm just looking for some recipe for the chewy Kutsinta and found your blog, haven't tried it yet hehehe
more power and more recipes 🙂
Thanks, Irene! Hope she was a good teacher and that you liked her, hehe...and hope you like the Kutsinta and braised beef ?
Thanks for sharing your recipe. I too am a chowking braised beef lover. Not sure though if they still have it on their menu these days....more power to you!
Maria Anderson says
I found the recipe for the braised beef in your blog, it was awesome as I was feeling a bit homesick for this type of dishes, and good thing I found this online! When I was young I really enjoyed the "chowking" braised beef and I must say this recipe hits the spot, thank you for providing this recipe! More power to you Bebs!
PS. I was wondering what if I only have ground cloves? How much do I put in?
Hi Maria, try a small amount first like 1/8 of a teaspoon and you can add more if needed.
i'm a big fan of your blog now, because i have found this recipe of yours! 🙂
i have a shortcut icon of your website on my desktop, so when i feel like being
"Chef-y" for the hubby or him wanting to cook "Filo" foods, that he had grown to love (he's Maori from New Zealand) your recipes are just a click away..
It's true that food brings people together.. Thanks Bebs, for sharing your talent to the rest of us.. Wishing you the best of everything.. xoxo
lots of love from the Land Down Under!
<3 <3 <3
What a very nice message and I am glad you like the blog and my recipes. Thanks for the support and regards back from Germany! ????????????