Chinese Cold Spiced Beef

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Today’s (very simple) post illustrates just one of the many variations on a common theme in Chinese cookery. Cold plates frequently commence a Chinese banquet and combinations may include dressed jelly-fish shreds, cold roast pork with crackling, or marbled tea-eggs (to name just a few). One perennial favorite is thinly sliced braised beef shank, especially where the meat has been prepared as in my ‘Red-Cooked Beef Shank ‘  recipe posted not long ago…

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One feature of beef shanks is that the meat stands up really well to long periods of cooking and generally won’t fall apart easily. Nevertheless, if you want to slice the cooked meat extremely thinly it helps to wrap it tightly and chill for several hours or overnight before doing so.

 

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Here is one muscle from a section of Beef Shank that has been red-cooked and cooled. I always think that the pattern made by the tendons and sinews almost looks like a Japanese painting and I suspect that it is the appearance of the slices, as much as the taste and texture, that makes it so appealing for cold plates.

Cold slices of beef shank may be served without any sauce or dressing (especially as part of a combination plate) but some sort of condiment is often provided, with spicy varieties probably being the most favored. For today’s post, I have just used a small amount of Sambal Oelek mixed with a little Sichuan Pepper Oil. Simplicity is often the best …

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