Chilled beef shank with Asian 'laosui' 鹵水 spices

Chilled beef shank poached in an Asian ‘laosui’ 鹵水 marinate

‘Lao sui’ is translated literately as ‘old water’. It is a marinate with variety of spices – cloves, cinnamon bark, fennel, citric peel, Sichuan pepper, star anise, dry ginger and licorice root. ‘Lao sui’ spices are versatile and frequently used to marinate meat and eggs.

You can use a shop-bought spice bag, which is available from an Asian store. The spice bag gives a very strong marinate. I use a home-mix with cinnamon, clove, fennel seed, bay leave and pepper corns which is much lighter.

The beef shanks are ‘large shanks’ which is about 1kg each, available from Asian butchers.

Ingredients

  • 1 large beef shank, approximately 1kg

Lao sui stock

  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. sugar (I use Chinese rock sugar)
  • 4 star anise
  • 6  bay leaves
  • 1-2 cinnamon sticks (approx. 10g)
  • 1 tsp pepper corns, lighted crushed
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • a few cardamom pods, crushed
  • fresh ginger (approx. 20g or to taste), sliced
  • salt to taste

Salad

  • 2 continental cucumber, sliced
  • 20g coriander, sliced
  • 20g green shallot, sliced
  • Toss together

Dipping sauce

  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar or Chinese traditional vinegar
  • 2 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 chili, seeds removed, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. of the cooked marinate
  • Mix all ingredients together

Garnish

  • 10g coriander, green part only, chopped
  • 10g green shallot, chopped
  • 1 chili, seeds removed, sliced

Method

  • Place beef shank in a pot, cover with room temperature water, bring to boil; remove from heat; rinse the meat under cold water to ‘clean’.
  • Place the beef shank in a heavy saucepan (cast iron would be ideal) and return to the the heat;  add the marinate ingredients; top with water enough to cover the meat; bring to boil; cover with a lid; simmer for 1-1.5 hours at the lowest setting; turn the heat off, leave the meat in the marinate for the remaining heat to continue to cook; Insert a skewer into the meat to ensure that the juice is clear. The meat should be just cooked and light pink.
  • When the meat and marinate is cool, remove the meat from the dish; put in a container and leave in fridge overnight. To serve, thinly slice the beef against the grain.
  • To assemble, lay the salad on a plate; place the sliced beef on top; pour over half of the sauce; garnish with chopped coriander, green shallot and sliced chili.
  • Serve the remaining dipping sauce

Beef shank uncooked
Beef shank – outer side
Star anise, Sichuan peppercorn, clove, cardamom, fennel and cinnamon stick
Star anise, Sichuan peppercorn, clove, cardamom, fennel and cinnamon stick
Rock sugar, ginger and bay leaves
Rock sugar, ginger and bay leaves
Chilled beef shank with Asian 'laosui' 鹵水 spices
, Chilled beef shank with Asian ‘laosui’ 鹵水 spices
Chilled beef shank with Asian 'laosui' 鹵水 spices
Chilled beef shank with Asian ‘laosui’ 鹵水 spices

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