700-800g ox cheek or shin, cut into rough 3cm chunks
1tbsp flour for dusting
Vegetable oil for frying
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
40g root ginger, scraped and roughly chopped
2tsp Chinese five spice
1tbsp sesame oil
100ml rice wine
1.5 litres beef stock
100ml light soy sauce
Approx 1tbsp cornflour
Salt and pepper
A selection of fresh or dried Asian mushrooms, soaked in cold water for a few hours if dried
Season and lightly dust the pieces of beef with flour, heat a heavy frying pan with a little vegetable oil and fry on a high heat until nicely coloured on all sides.
Meanwhile, in a heavy based saucepan, fry the onion, garlic, ginger and five spice in the sesame oil for 3-4 minutes until lightly coloured. Add the rice wine, beef stock and soy. Bring to the boil, add the beef, cover and simmer gently for 1-2 hours or until the meat is soft and tender.
Add the mushrooms at different stages of cooking; for example, shiitake can be trimmed and halved or quartered and simmered for about half an hour in the hot pot towards the end of cooking, but if you're using fresh ones they can literally be sautéed in sesame or vegetable oil and scattered on top or just stirred in.
Dilute the cornflour in a little water and stir it into the simmering sauce a little at a time until it's of a good consistency for coating the beef. Simmer for another 10 minutes to cook out the cornflour. Season to taste.
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