Beef Stew in Beijing Red Wine Sauce

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My New Year blogging was greeted with erratic internet issues since international links were disrupted by the Taiwan earthquake a week earlier. (Guess how long did it take to post this entry and upload all the photos?) Oh well… not to mention few projects that may or may not mean big bucks that kept us real busy. Anyways, here’s one before I go back to work. We were given a bottle of Beijing wine last Christmas and had few cups left that I experimented on beef stew.

But before we get to the recipe check out A‘s Paris Baguette birthday cake next to the bottle of Beijing red wine. Oh yeah babaw lng ng kaligayahan namin but we think we are in love with this Korean-owned bakery what with its cakes and pastries filled with crazy creamy goodness, lots of real butter and sugar and heavenly goodness of what-nots. Even the sandwiches are great!

Stewing beef
1 large onion, chopped
5 tbsp of crushed garlic
1 cup Beijing red wine
1 bowl of sliced button mushrooms
About 10 pcs of peppercorns, crushed
1 tsp of cornstarch

Cut the beef into bite-size pieces or make slices through 1 big chunk. Marinate it overnight with 1/2 cup red wine, crushed peppercorns and salt.

Transfer the marinade to a pot. Add 4 to 5 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add in the onion and simmer for 2 to 3 hours or until the beef is tender, adding more water when necessary.

Remove the beef from the broth. Melt butter in a non-stick pan. Fry the chopped garlic until fragrant then brown the beef over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and arrange in a serving platter.

Add the mushrooms (and more chopped onions if desired) on the pan and cook for another minute, stirring constantly. Pour in 1/4 to 1/2 cup of red wine and the remaining broth. Adjust the taste with salt and simmer for another 3 minutes. In a small cup, half-full with water, whisk cornstarch and water until smooth and stir into the sauce pan. Cook, stirring constantly, until thick. Pour over the beef and serve.

And we had fresh strawberries for dessert!

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I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

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