My friend and I are big foodies. We often head over to our local department store and flick through all the wondrous cookbooks. I came across Neil Perry’s Spice Temple with all it’s Chinese style culinary delights. Needless to say I came home with the cookbook. I have bookmarked all the recipes that I like. I shouldn’t have bothered as it’s pretty much the whole cookbook. This is the first recipe that I tried and based on this, I can’t wait to experiment with the rest. A couple of things about this recipe, it takes a long time if you are starting from scratch. You will need to make the stock and the braised beef and the noodles separately. It’s well worth the effort, I must say. The second thing is that the original recipe calls for beef brisket. I could find any in my local supermarkets so upon researching, I found that chuck beef will work just as well. I have used it in shredded chilli beef before and was happy with that. You will need a pasta making machine if you want to give the noodles a shot.
My taste taster went back for 3 helpings, I think that speaks for itself. Enjoy!
250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
135ml of water
1 teaspoon fine salt
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
vegetable oil for coating
2.5l cold water
500ml light soy sauce
250ml Shaoxing wine
125g yellow rock sugar, crushed
10cm knob of ginger, sliced
8 cloves garlic, sliced
4 star anaise
2 cinnamon sticks
3 pieces dried tangerine peel (I couldn’t find this, but used citrus peel instead)
Chilli and Sichuan pepper sauce
1 tbsp peanut oil
1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
4 dried long red chillies
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
1 tsp chopped ginger
1 tbsp chilli bean paste
1 tbsp sweet bean paste
2 tsp Shaoxing wine
50ml stock (I used some of the braising stock from the beef)
1 tsp dark soy sauce
100g red-braised brisket, shredded (method below)
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp chilli oil
finely sliced spring onion, to serve
Master stock method (for braised beef)
The aromas in my kitchen from this stock were amazing. I froze my leftover stock to use at a later point in time. Place all the ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes. Easy peasy.
Yellow noodles method
Mix all the ingredients except the oil in a bowl and combine with a spoon or your hand until it comes together. Remove from the bowl onto a dusted surface and knead for 10 minutes if your arms can last that long. Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Remove from the fridge and repeat the process. Cut up the dough into 4 pieces and flatten one. Feed through the pasta machine at a thick setting (2 on mine) and work your way up to a thinner setting (6 on mine) approximately 5-6 times in total. Each time dust it with some flour and fold. Once it’s thin, cut into 3 cm in thickness and set aside. you can just use a standard knife if you don’t have a pasta cutter. Place the noodles over a rolling pin and repeat the process with the remainder of the dough.
Red braised beef method
I made this in the slow cooker. The braised beef recipe states 1kg beef but you only use 100g for the main dish. Cut the chuck steak up into large chunks or if you are using the brisket you can leave it whole. You can take some of the excess fat off but not too much. It makes it nice and juicy when slow cooked. Brown the meat in a pan in batches. Add to the slow cooker with the master stock, season with salt and pepper. I left it cooking on auto in the slow cooker for about 8 hours. Fish out the beef from the stock and place it in a separate bowl and pull it apart with two forks. If you don’t have a slow cooker, place the stock in an ovenproof saucepan or casserole dish and bring to the boil. Add the beef to the stock and cook in the oven for 3 hours at 170 degrees Celsius or until falling apart.
Chilli and Sichuan pepper sauce
Heat the peanut oil in a wok. Add the peppercorns and chilli and stir-fry for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, both pastes and fry for another couple of minutes. Add the liquid ingredients to the pan and reduce. Stir in the shredded beef and reduce the heat.
Putting it altogether
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add in the noodles. They should only take about 2 minutes. REALLY, I thought no way they won’t cook in 2 minutes but mine were slightly overdone because I left them on longer. Drain the noodles but hold back a little of the cooking liquid (approx. 2 tbsp.). Stir in the oil to stop them sticking together. Then add the noodles to the sauce and beef and coat the noodles well. Drizzle over some chilli oil and sprinkle over the spring onions.