Friday, November 12, 2010

Stew beef brisket - My hubby's recipe - featured in Group Recipes

I was out the whole day yesterday and when I returned home, I could smell that something good was cooking, the moment I opened the door. My hubby had made a pot of sumptuous stewed beef brisket for dinner! I don’t need to elaborate how delicious this dish is because from the ingredients he put in, you will be able to  imagine how flavorful it is. It is rather difficult to photograph stews, especially with dark gravy like this one. I don’t think the picture I have below does justice to the dish but please don’t judge the book by its cover, I promise you will not regret trying this. It definitely taste far better than it looks!

Serving: 4
500 gm beef brisket
4 tbs corn or canola oil or rapeseed oil
Juice of ½ lemon strained
4 medium size carrots, cut in chunks
1 large fennel bulb, with greens removed – retain the greens for attractive plating
2 large  white onions, peeled and quartered
1 can whole plum tomatos, discard juice and cut tomatoes in chunks
3 tb chopped garlic
2 oz. sweet saki
2 tb red wine vinegar
5 slices of ginger
1 teaspoon, ground nutmeg
20 gm rock sugar
1 tablespoon thick black sauce
350 ml beef broth
2 large potatoes,  Russet or Yellow, peeled and cut into 8 chunks each
ground black pepper (to taste)

Trim fat from the brisket. Rinse the meat under a fast flowing tap  and pat completely dry with paper towels
Combine two tbs of frying oil, lemon juice, in a small bowl and rub liberally over the entire brisket. Grind black pepper sprinkling over the entire surface.

Heat large frying pan with remaining frying oil over medium high flame until it reaches frying temperature (350F or 180C).

Note: To test oil, drop a single grain of rice into it. If it bobs to the surface and bubbles the oil is ready. Alternatively, place a wooden spoon, handle end, into the oil and watch for bubbles to form at the surface around the handle.)  
Place the brisket into the frying pan and cook until golden brown on all surfaces. All that caramelization is loaded with flavor.

Remove brisket from the frying pan and place into the slow cooker.

Return to the frying pan and bring back to heat. Carefully add red wine vinegar and sweet sake, and two tbs of beef broth, to the pan, scraping and stirring the bottom of the pan so as to “deglaze” the pan. Remove from flame and pour the contents of the frying pan over the brisket  in the slow cooker.

Add all remaining ingredients except the potato to the slow cooker and set for HIGH heat.
Bring the contents to a visible simmer (This usually takes between 35 – 50 minutes depending on your cooker, so begin checking at 30 minutes.)
Re-set the heat to LOW temperature and allow to cook for three hours. Visit the pot a couple of times to lift the meat with a fork and using a spoon in your other hand, stir and redistribute the vegetables and liquid before setting the meat back on top.

After the contents have cooked for three hours, peel and cut potatoes into eight chunks each. Place into the slow cooker, pushing the chunks down into the liquid and repositioning the brisket back on top.

Allow to cook five  more hours. Use a fork to test the potatoes for doneness

Carefully remove the brisket from the cooker, and allow to rest on a cutting board for at least fifteen minutes. (The collagen in the beef will have been rendered almost completely so that the meat should be handled carefully to avoid breakage.)

Using a very sharp butcher knife carefully make thick slices of brisket.

Optional: While the meat is resting, check the liquid in your pot. If you wish to have a thicker gravy, remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon and retain in a lidded casserole covered with a kitchen towel. Remove the liquid to the frying pan and bring to a simmer. Stirring frequently reduce the liquid according to your wishes. Alternatively, you can add ½ a tsp of corn flower to a quarter cup of cold water and stir until well blended together into a cloudy liquid. Add this mixture to the frying pan and stir constantly until the juices thicken.

Recombine vegetables and gravy, and place in soup plates.
Carefully lift brisket slices and place on top of the vegetables. Decorate with a sprig fennel greens, and serve with crusty baguette or a rustic loaf.


  1. Looks pretty darn good to me. What a lovely surprise to come in from the cold!

  2. I actually think this looks great! There's something perfect about stews in colder weather, thank you again for another great recipe!

  3. This looks delicious! What a treat to come home to...I'm going to have to work on my hubs...I don't think he can boil water!

  4. Thank you so much for adding me as a friend on "Bloggy Moms." I really appreciate it. Your blog is very informative. I am learning to cook very slowly!! When you have a moment, pop in to my site at:

    Thank you! :0)

  5. Veronica:
    How nice to have your man cooking for you huh!

    Mine always claim he is a good cook and was a kitchen helper during his Uni time in NZ but I have never tasted his cooking not until last year when we moved here and he offered to prepare dinner for his friend who has rendered big help to us in settling down in NZ and that's the only time I got to taste his cooking :-(

  6. This looks delightful to me. I love stew and brisket ... I am book marking this to make as soon as it gets cold around these parts again!

  7. Hi Belinda,
    I agree with you. He still manage to surprise me often after 16 years of our marriage:D

  8. Jude,
    You are most welcome, I will pass your comment to the cook.

  9. Jane,
    You might think twice before you work on your hubby, sometimes it is better that he only knows how to boil water so that he will eat whatever you cook, he doesn't have a choice! hahaha

  10. Missy Schranz,
    You are very welcome. I will visit your blog for sure.

  11. Yin,
    Sometimes, it is good your man does not cook even if he knows how to. Then you can monopolize the kitchen:D

  12. Hi Allison,
    Thanks for dropping by and leave your comment so that it gives me a chance to discover your blog. I am glad you will try this recipe, I will pass your comment to the cook:D

  13. What a good hubby. The stew sounds comforting. And stews are a bit hard to photograph but I'd like to eat that entire bowl.

  14. Lisa,
    He is, also a caring son-in-law (my mum stays with us) and an awesome Dad. Any tips from you how to take a better picture on stews?

  15. I love stew because i do not need to cook any other dishes except for the rice! This one certainly sounds very delicious judging from the ingredients!

  16. Jeannie,
    You bet, it is delicious! we have some left over and we finished it last evening. Taste even better a day old! This weekend, we have some guests over to dine with us at our home and I told my honey to make this for the main dish and my baked whikey chicken in avocado boat for appetizer.

  17. Better than it looks? It looks beautiful, rustic and warm. If it tastes better than it looks it must be phenomenal!


  18. You are so lucky to have such a thoughtful person next to you. And from what I see he is a great cook too.

  19. I would love to come home to this! Thank you for sharing. It would be a lovely way to end a long day.

  20. Hello Ms. Quay Po :-)

    First off, I loved reading your "a little about me". You're so right, great recipes should be shared cause food is something that can really gather 2, 10, 50, or hundreds of people at the table at the sane time. That's the power of a great recipe ;-). Also, I LOVE your blog name!!! Teehee. I understood what it was supposed to read right away ;-).

    Your hubby's stew looks and sounds absolutely divine. Your picture DOES do this justice, and I'm not even much of a meat eater...haha. My hubby would be drooling all over this. How lucky are you to have French and Chinese Cuisines cooking under your roof, I'M SO JEALOUS! love your blog and will be back for more.

  21. How nice to have your husband cook you such a delicious meal. You are right, the recipe sounds wonderful. Some of the ingredients are unexpected, but I imagine work together to make a very tasty dish.

  22. Laura,
    Thanks so much for checking out my blog and leave your comment. I will pass it to my dear hubby and tell him he got a promotion base on your comment from dishwasher to Prep Cook haha.. Oh I love your blog and see all the beautiful pictures you took.

  23. Katerina,
    Thank you. Yes I feel blessed to be married to him. He is the most generous and kindest person I have ever known. He does not only love me but he loves those who love me too.

  24. Monet,
    I am always delighted to see you. How is Baby Ryan? I truly wish that he will get well soon. Hope you don't mind me asking so often. HUGS!!

  25. lequan,
    I enjoyed reading the story of how you started your blog and appalled a you putting your career for your two cuties. That shows your devoting to your family:D

    I used to be like you about keeping the house neat always but as age catching up and getting wiser, I do not want to be a slave to house, I want to be the mistress of my home. How dirty can a house be when only 3 old folks are living in it? hahaha...

    Thanks for your comment on the stew and the picture. I must pass this to the just promoted dishwasher:D

    Have a wonderful weekend and hope to talk to you again soon. Give your two little precious a big hug for me and tell him these hugs flew from a far away little country, Malaysia.

  26. Kristen,
    Yes it is:D We are going to serve this to our guests tonight and I have warned my just promoted Prep Cook to do a good job if not, he will get a demotion back to dishwasher hahaha.. Have a wonderful weekend my dear:D

  27. Great photos! Teach me how! Or... is there a beginner's course you can recommend for food photography. I have a very nice SLR camera but still haven't managed to take it off automatic!

  28. Miss Tindall,
    I am also new to photography. I use a Canon 500D and most of my photos are taken with natural sunlight. I find that pictures look much better. Other than that I can't offer further advice as I am also an amateur:D

  29. Eventhough, I'm not a beef eater I still think this looks awesome delish. Thanks again for sharing.

  30. That looks really scrumptious! I wish my BF would cook for me... ;-P



    1. Rosa, pass this recipe to your BF and he will know what to do:D

  31. Oh god, RAPEseed oil!? Might wanna fix that.

    1. Shalyn, this recipe is from my Quay Lo and he told me that there is such a thing called rapeseed oil Haiya, LUCY got SO confused!! LOL!

  32. A yummy delicious recipe.I should definitely try this.
    Beef brisket recipes

  33. Good. It will be nuce get feedback from you after you tried it.


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