Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Beef & Pumpkin Soupy Stew

Simple Beef and Pumpkin Soupy Stew
I need to learn how to recognise more Chinese characters!
All I can read recognize guess are Chinese characters of food that I hate (including papaya) or absolutely love (various meat, dishes, including char siew ^_^)

Why the sudden dedication to learn more Chinese characters?

I went to the supermarket and grabbed a pack of beef for stir frying. The meat was beautifully marbled, fresh and costs quite a lot. I took it anyway. A few steps later, I saw a pack that's a lot cheaper. The meat looked fresh and marbled...and in such a package, I couldn't recognize which part of beef the meat was based on sight. Anyway, I bought it and planned to do a simple stir fry.

I went home and happily started prepping my cheap beef.
It looked suspicious, not the kind of beef I normally use for stir fry, there were lots of fatty chunks and tendons, which I tried to get rid of. I had difficulties slicing the beef, but tried my best anyway.

Luckily, SC's mom came over and saw my struggle. She checked the package and turned out...I've bought a bad pack of beef brisket. What an idiot (me)! Stir frying it would be a disaster. We would end up chewing on something as rubbery as the soles of raggedy old boots! So I changed my plan and did an easy stew.

- 1 lb of beef brisket (get a better one than mine, know your cuts of meat, or read labels ^_^')
- half a small pumpkin, peeled, seeds removed, cut into large chunks
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 2 clove shallot, cut into a few chunks
- 1 cm ginger, crushed
- cooking oil, hot water, salt, pepper, ground nutmeg

Saute garlic and shallot in a bit of oil, add beef brisket, add hot water (a little of a lot, depending how much "soup" you want from the stew, I like this version more soupy, just like Indonesian sop or soto), bring to boil and simmer until tender (I pressure cooked it for 25 minutes). Once the beef chunks are tender, add pumpkin chunks, cook until the pumpkin chunks are tender, or until completely dissolved in hot water, it's up to you. Season with salt, pepper and ground nutmeg.

I couldn't believe how delightfully savory it was! I'll be looking for more el-cheapo beef brisket on sale to make more soupy stew next time.

PS. I've learnt how to recognize "beef brisket" in Chinese. Heheheh


Von said...

At least your ability to read chinese is better than mine! haha......Good thing you didn't end up stir frying it! This beef and pumpkin stew sounds delicious!

daphne said...

hehee, good that SC mum came over! ;) guess all home cooks have to be flexible! the stew looks great btw and very homely.

Joanne said...

haha yes. This is why I don't buy meat in chinatown even though it's cheaper. But this stew looks delish. So totally worth it.

tigerfish said...

What do you mean a "bad pack" of beef brisket? Has it expired or something?

But I bet the beef essence still does good to the pumpkin soupy stew.

Indie.Tea said...

Haha, great way to save your meal. I'm sure your stew was delicious.

noobcook said...

at least you learn new Chinese characters, and also came up with a new yummy recipe ;)

sarah said...

I have this exact problem! The English just says "beef muscle": not very useful! Your stew looks gorgeous.