This beef stew is full of goodness and immunity–boosting ingredients, such as ginger, garlic and sweet potato. It’s a feelgood recipe I love to make when I’m feeling a bit under the weather (or hungover!). Make it at the weekend then enjoy throughout the week.
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 small eggplant, cut into roughly 3cm (just over 1”) pieces
600g (1 lb 5 oz) chuck steak, oyster blade steak or gravy beef, fat trimmed, cut into 4cm (1.5”) chunks
6 eschalots, peeled, halved lengthways
2 large sticks celery, diced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4cm (1.5”) piece fresh ginger, peeled, sliced into thin strips
3 whole star anise
1 cinnamon stick
250ml (1 cup) passata
375ml (1½ cups) beef stock
1½ tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Chinese black vinegar*
2 tsp brown sugar
400g (14 oz) sweet potato, peeled, chopped into bite-sized pieces
finely sliced spring onion, to serve
finely sliced green chilli, to serve
coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped, to serve
steamed rice, to serve
Preheat oven to 170°C (340°F), or 150°C (300°F) fan forced. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large flameproof ovenproof dish with a lid over high heat. Cook eggplant, turning, for 2–3 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a plate and set aside for later.
Heat another tablespoon of oil in the same pan over high heat. Season the beef with salt and then add to the hot pan. Spread out in the pan and leave to sear until golden on the one side, then turn and continue cooking for 2–3 minutes or until browned. Add the eschalots and allow them to sear and brown for 2–3 minutes also. Then add the celery, garlic, ginger, star anise and cinnamon and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2–3 minutes or until softened and fragrant. Add the tomato puree, stock, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar and bring to the boil. Cover and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour.
Add the sweet potato and eggplant to the beef, cover and return to the oven for a further 45 minutes or until sweet potato and beef are tender.
Sprinkle beef with the spring onion, green chilli and coriander and serve with steamed rice.
– Otherwise known as chinkiang vinegar, you can find Chinese black vinegar from an Asian grocer. However, if you are unable to find it, substitute it with half balsamic and half white vinegar.