Ginger Beef and a Cautionary Tale

ginger beefIn Jamaica goat is a well liked meat.  It is cheaper, tastier and more generally available than beef.

Once when he was a boy, my father visited a remote rural region of Jamaica.   He ate a delicious bowl of stewed Ginger Goat.  Dark and flavorful with the taste of bean sauce and ginger.  It was wonderful.

He told the Chinese cook-man that it was the best Ginger Goat he’d ever had.

The cook laughed and said “Is no goat mahn.  Is bow-wow!”

Ever since then my father only eats Ginger Beef and only from cooks he knows very very well.


Hakka Ginger Beef

1 kg Blade beef or Beef Short ribs
150g fresh Ginger root, sliced into large 3 inch wide slices
4 fresh garlic cloves, sliced
2 star anise
2 fresh lime leaves  (Kaffir or regular Persian limes, as available)
2 tablespoon brown bean sauce
2 tablespoon oyster sauce
Sugar & salt to taste

300g Lo Pet (Chinese white radish or daikon) or Chayote, peeled and sliced into large chunks

Cut beef into large pieces. Dry with a paper towel and coat lightly with flour.  Brown well in a heavy skillet or dutch oven.

Add sliced garlic, star anise, ginger  & lime leaves  until fragrant.  Add brown bean and oyster sauce and stir in sufficient water to cover.   Simmer over low heat until tender, approximately 2-3 hours.  If using a crockpot, transfer everything into the crock and cook on high for 4-5 hours.

At the 2 hour mark, stir in the Lopet or Chayote.  Mix in the vegetable so that it is covered and absorbs the gravy.

When beef is fork tender, taste and adjust for flavor with oyster sauce & sugar.  If necessary, thicken with a slurry of cornstarch and water.

Serve with lots of  steamed white rice.