Slow cooker Chinese-style beef
This slow-cooker beef recipe makes a lovely change from a stir-fry but is just as easy to prepare.
Equipment and preparation: For this recipe, you will need an electric slow-cooker, at least 3.5 litres/6 pints in capacity.
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 2 large red onions, thinly sliced
- 50g/1¾oz piece fresh root ginger, peeled, finely grated
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
- 500g/1lb 2oz braising steak, trimmed, cut into 5cm/2in cubes
- 2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
- 350ml/12fl oz hot beef stock (made with 1 stock cube)
- 4 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 4 tsp cornflour
- 2 tbsp clear honey
- freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and fry for 8-10 minutes, stirring regularly, until softened and lightly browned. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli flakes, stir well and cook for 2-3 minutes, making sure the garlic doesn't burn.
Season the beef all over with pepper, then sprinkle over the five-spice powder and mix to coat evenly. Add to the pan and fry for 3-4 minutes, turning the beef regularly until lightly browned all over.
Transfer to the slow-cooker. Pour over the stock and stir in the soy sauce. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours, until the beef is meltingly tender.
When the beef is cooked, whisk the cornflour with 1 tablespoon water to a smooth paste, stir in the honey. Add to the slow-cooker, cover and cook for 12-15 minutes, or until the sauce is glossy and has thickened slightly.
Serve the beef with steamed rice or boiled noodles and stir-fried vegetables.
If you are using pre-cut beef, it will probably be in small chunks, so reduce the cooking time by about 1 hour. Also, If you are not using a slow cooker you may need to add extra beef stock.