aromatic braised beef & chilli dumplings
MAKES 50-55 / PREPARATION 60 MINUTES PLUS MARINATING / COOKING 5 HOURS PLUS 8-10 MINUTES PER BATCH
FOR THE DUMPLINGS
¼ cup light soy sauce ¼ cup dark soy sauce ⅓ cup Shaoxing rice wine finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange ¼ cup sugar 2 teaspoons five spice powder 3 star anise 1 large red chilli, roughly sliced 50g fresh ginger, sliced 4 cloves garlic, crushed 1kg beef brisket 1 tablespoon cornflour 50-55 dumpling wrappers spray cooking oil
Preheat the oven to 160˚C. Put the soy sauces, wine, zest and juice, sugar and five spice in a roasting dish that will fit the beef snugly, cover with ⅓ cup water and whisk. Add the star anise, chilli, ginger and garlic and stir to combine.
Add the beef – it should be just submerged. Cover with two layers of foil and cook for 5 hours, turning the beef twice during cooking. Remove from the oven, allowing the beef to cool in the braising liquid. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
Drain and shred the meat, reserving the braising liquid. Strain the liquid and mix ⅓ cup with the cornflour, then add this to the beef and stir to coat. Use heaped teaspoons of filling to make the dumplings, and chill until ready to cook.
To cook, line the bases of a multi-level steamer with baking paper. Spray the baking paper very lightly with a little cooking spray and brush it over the paper to coat sparingly. Use a small, sharp knife to poke little holes in the paper, between the bamboo base slits. Heat a large, deep, wide frying pan of water until boiling then place the steamer on top. Cook the dumplings in batches for about 8 minutes until the wrappers are soft and the filling is well heated.
FOR THE DIPPING SAUCE & TO GARNISH
⅓ cup black Chinese vinegar ½ cup soy sauce 1-2 teaspoons chilli oil, plus extra to taste 1 clove garlic, crushed 1 teaspoon caster sugar 2 chillies, finely chopped ¼ cup finely chopped chives 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds ½ cup finely chopped, roasted peanuts
While the dumplings cook, whisk the vinegar, soy, chilli oil, garlic and sugar together. Serve the dumplings with the dipping sauce, garnished with the chillies, chives, sesame seeds and peanuts, with extra chilli oil to taste.
WINE A bright, energetic pinot noir – go for the Stoneleigh Latitude Marlborough Pinot Noir 2014.