I’m heading to the snow in NorCal today so I thought I’d pop in with this Sichuan beef soup to keep us all warm while I’m away. Can I just say how truly sorry I am for those of you who are still unwillingly dealing with snow in late March? Seriously. That sucks.
I’m off to a wedding otherwise I wouldn’t be purposely going near snow if my life depended on it.
I am actually looking forward to a few quiet days away from the office to just relax. I’ve got tons of blog stuff to work on to make sure you guys don’t forget me while I’m in South America in a few weeks. I’d never leave you guys empty handed.
Life has been hectic lately which often stifles creativity. I’m hoping this trip, and my trip to Bolivia on the 9th, help me gain a fresh perspective on everything that I’ve been involved in lately, and give me the time to thoughtfully plan what I want to tackle next. I certainly can’t complain about lack of ideas or opportunity these days which is a true blessing.
If you’re buried in snow this weekend, know that for once I’m right there with you! Warm up with a bowl of this Sichuan beef soup, and have a virtual hot toddy toast with me from the ski lodge. Cheers!
- 3 quarts water
- 2 pounds (2-inch-thick) bone-in beef shanks
- 2 teaspoons peanut oil or canola oil
- 1 cup chopped white onion
- 2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 6 cups water
- 1 tablespoon chile garlic sauce
- 1½ teaspoons black bean garlic sauce (such as Lee Kum Kee)
- 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
- 3 star anise
- 1 cup sliced green onions, divided
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
- 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
- 2 baby bok choy, cut in half lengthwise
- ½ pound fresh Chinese-style wheat noodles
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a large Dutch oven. Add beef shanks; boil until surface of meat is no longer red (about 6 minutes). Drain shanks; cool slightly. Remove meat from bones; reserve bones. Cut meat into cubes.
- Rinse pan; wipe clean with paper towels. Heat pan over high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add white onion, ginger, and garlic; stir-fry 4 minutes or until browned. Stir in 6 cups water, chile garlic sauce, and black bean sauce. Place peppercorns and star anise on a double layer of cheesecloth. Gather edges of cheesecloth together; tie securely. Add cheesecloth bag, ½ cup green onions, sugar, and soy sauce to pan. Return meat and bones to pan. Bring to a simmer. Partially cover, and simmer gently for 2 hours or until meat is tender. Uncover and simmer 1 hour or until reduced to about 5 cups. Cool to room temperature; cover and chill overnight.
- Skim fat from soup; discard fat. Discard bones and cheesecloth bag. Bring soup to a simmer. Add tomatoes and bok choy; cook 5 minutes or until bok choy is tender.
- Cook noodles according to package directions. Place about ½ cup noodles in each of 4 bowls. Ladle 1 cup soup into each bowl, dividing bok choy evenly. Sprinkle each serving with 2 tablespoons green onions and 1 tablespoon cilantro.