This simple and aromatic braised beef dish is one of my many home cooking variations of Chinese braising dishes and it is inspired by the popular home confinement dish called Chicken and Ginger Wine. Typically, Chinese braising includes adding all the ingredients like meat, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, rock sugar, five spice powder or spices, Chinese rice wine and water or meat broth into a wok or pot. Bringing everything to a rolling boil at high heat and then simmering on low heat for an extended time until the meat is soft and tender. For my gluten free and soy free instant pot recipe, my main ingredient is gravy beef (beef shin), garlic and ginger, cooked in a flavourful sauce made with coconut aminos, blackstrap molasses, and dry sherry. The resulting dish has a sweet and mildly nutty flavour of dry sherry combined with the zesty and earthy flavour of ginger and the pungent spices. This recipe is not only gluten free and soy free, it is also low carbs, dairy free, egg free, nut free, corn free, refined sugar free, allergy friendly and paleo without the rice. For paleo, serve with cauliflower rice instead.
What is Braising?
Braised dishes similiar to casseroles or stews, is a cooking technique that normally includes cooking for at least one hour or more to soften cheaper and tougher cuts of meat. The most popular cuts of beef normally used for braising are gravy beef (beef shin), chuck steak, beef brisket and flank steak (skirt steak). Both slow cooking and pressure cooking are equally considered a form of braising using modern technology. Whether you use stove top cooking, slow cooking or pressure cooking for braising dishes, you will be assured of melt-in-the-mouth meat and wonderful intensity of flavour each time.
Gravy beef, also called shin or leg, it is one of the most common best cuts of beef for braising as it is an economical cut with intense flavour. It is a tough cut of meat as it comes from the shanks of the cow with very lean muscle, little fat and has ample connective tissue, which made it very suitable for braising. Gravy beef can be purchased on or off the bone. The bone-in cut is the familiar and favourite osso-bucco (cut across the bone) and the bone marrow adds an amazing depth and flavour to the sauce. While boneless shin is suitable for moist braising to soften the meat and in turn the result is well-coated and gooey meat that thickens and enriched the sauce resulting in a deep flavour dish.
Nutritional Values and Health Benefits of Beef
Beef is a superb source of everyday protein staple on our dinner plates, it is not only highly versatile but also a nutrient dense food as well. Lean Beef is a great source of protein with low saturated fat and it is also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals like vitamin B12, vitamin B6, vitamin B3 (Niacin), choline, folate (vitamin B9), zinc and phosphorus. Beef is also abundant in omega 3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Furthermore, beef is a good source of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), Vitamin B 2 (riboflavin), iron, iodine, magnesium, potassium and copper. In addition, beef has some amount of Vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin B7 (biotin) and selenium. Health benefits of beef include: help build muscle mass and repair tissues; prevention of iron deficiency anaemia; boosts the body’s immune system; promote healthy central nervous system; support healthy skin, hair and nails; aids in fertility and reproduction and help decrease bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol).