Chinese Braised Beef and Potato Stew

Recipe by Kate S.
READY IN: 2hrs 30mins


  • 2
    cups water
  • 12
    lb beef, cut into one-inch chunks
  • 1
    inch fresh gingerroot, sliced into coins (optional)
  • 2 -3
    garlic cloves, smashed (optional)
  • 1
    leeks, cut at 45-degree angle into one-inch pieces or 1/2 onion, chopped into one-inch squares
  • 1
    star anise (optional)
  • 4
    4 tablespoons peanut oil or 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3
    tablespoons soy sauce
  • 12
    lb waxy potato, peeled and cut into one-inch cubes
  • 1
    carrots, roll-cut (optional) or 1 carrot, cut into 3/4-inch half-moons (optional)
  • 12
    teaspoon salt
  • 14
    teaspoon sichuan pepper or 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  • In a sauce pan that has a lid (you'll use it later), bring water to a boil, add meat, bring back to a boil, then turn off and let stand while you prepare the vegetables.
  • Prepare ginger, garlic, and leek or onion.
  • Discard water off the beef, and add enough boiling water to almost cover the meat, along with anise, ginger, and leek or onion.
  • Heat an empty wok over high heat, add lard or oil, heat and swirl in pan, then add garlic and stir quickly for a moment until the fragrance rises from the oil. Then add soy sauce and bring to a boil.
  • Add soy sauce mixture to the saucepan with the beef, cover the dish, and braise for an hour or more, stirring occasionally, and discarding water that has condensed under the lid.
  • While the meat and vegetables cook, peel and cut up the carrots and potatoes.
  • Twenty to forty minutes before serving, add the carrots and potatoes and salt and pepper. (At this point, you may wish to enhance the flavor with a pinch of five-spice powder or ground cloves.).
  • When the potatoes are cooked through and the sauce is just starting to thicken naturally from the potato starch, the dish is prepared.
  • In north China, this stew is served with thick, chewy, crusty flat bread. In the south, with rice. Garlic-stir-fried spinach or other greens makes an excellent accompaniment.
  • This amount serves 2 people, but may serve up to eight or ten alongside an appropriate number of other dishes as part of a family-style Chinese meal.