Platter of Beef Variety Meats
(click to enlarge)

Beef Shank with Variety Meats
China - North
  -   Lu Niujin Niuza
Makes:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
3-1/2+ #  
***
1 day  
Must

This is from the Muslim community in Northern China, so includes no pork. Don't take the amounts of the meats too strictly, considerable weight variations (mostly higher) are allowed. It's great for guests, because it can be all made well ahead. For details on the cuts of Beef, see our Beef / Veal Cuts by Chart page.



2
1-1/2
1
1
-------
2-1/2
4
1/3
4
3
1
1
1/4
2
3
1
-------
#
#
#
#
----
oz

c

in
T
T
c

in2
c
----
Beef Shank Meat (1)
Beef Tendons (2)
Beef Tripe (3)
Beef Heart (4)
-- Flavorings
Ginger Root, sliced
Scallions
Soy Sauce
Star Anise
Cinnamon
Fennel Seeds
Sichuan Peppercorns (5)  
Sugar (6)
Thai Chilis, dry
Tangerine Peel (7)
Rice Wine (8)
-- Accompaniments
Soy Eggs (9)
Pressed Tofu (10)
Make   -   (5 hrs + overnight)
  1. Place all MEATS (whole) in an 8 quart pot and fill it to near the top with water. Bring it up to a full boil for about 4 minutes. I usually skim as it comes to a boil to reduce the pile of sludge. Pour it all out into a clean sink. Wash the pot and rinse the meats well, returning them to the pot.
  2. Add all Flavoring items to the pot and Water to cover meats well. Bring to a boil and set to simmer for about 2 hours.
  3. Fish out the Beef Shank. Leave the Tendons in. If Honeycomb Tripe it can also come out, but blanket tripe should stay in a little longer. If using Lamb Heart you can pull it out now. If Beef Heart it'll need to stay until the Tendons are pulled. Set pulled meats aside to cool. Bring back to a boil and simmer another 45 minutes or until tendons are tender enough. If any other meats have been left in, pull them when they are tender enough.
  4. Fish out the Tendons and add to the other meats. Place cooled meats in the fridge and let chill overnight for easy slicing.
  5. Strain the Broth and reduce it at a medium boil until the consistency you want, stew or sauce. Though there's not much fat, I de-fat the broth using my gravy separator before boiling it down. This probably would not be done in China. Cool and refrigerate. If you've boiled it down to 1/4 or so, it will jell very stiff overnight, so should not be poured in with the meats.
  6. Slice Meats as you like. The meat can be eaten cold, at room temperature, steamed, or heated with some of the sauce and served with rice. They can be served all together as I do, or separately to order, as often done in Chinese restaurants. Shaobing rolls, split and stuffed with tender shank is a popular breakfast there. For buffet service, set the meat out in a shallow warming pan with a fair amount of broth.
NOTES:
  1. Beef Shank:   Weight is for boneless with all excess fat removed. Cooking time is long, so a tough cut with lots of connective tissue is needed. Some Asian markets sell whole shanks, which you bone yourself. This is better for slicing, because the pieces are long, but regular cross cut center shanks work well enough if fairly thick.
  2. Beef Tendons:   This ingredient can commonly be found in markets serving a Chinese or Philippine community. For details see our Beef Tendons page.
  3. Tripe:   The pattern recipe called for Honeycomb Tripe, but Blanket Tripe can also be used - but not Book Tripe. For details see our Beef Tripe page.
  4. Beef Heart:   Weight is after removal of fat and plumbing. For the photo example I used Lamb Hearts which were more available, but they have more fat and need more trimming.
  5. Sichuan Peppercorns   Fruits of a prickly ash tree, now again legal in the US so long as they are lightly toasted. These are nothing at all like black pepper. For details see our Sichuan Pepper page.
  6. Sugar   I have given 1/2 the amount of sugar called for in the pattern recipe, and it's plenty. Asians are very big on sugar, but I consider it a "Great Evil" (as do many nutritionists).
  7. Tangerine Peel:   Dried Tangerine Peel is a common ingredient in China. I dry my own. it can get very dark, almost black, with age.
  8. Rice Wine:   Us a good drinkable Chinese rice wine, not those horrid salted "cooking" grades. If you don't have Chinese rice wine, use a Dry Sherry. Sake, though also made from rice, is not considered an acceptable substitute. For details see our Chinese Rice Wine page.
  9. Soy Eggs   In a Chinese restaurant environment where this meat recipe is made continuously, the Eggs would be made in the sauce from the meats, but, since in my environment the sauce won't be available in time, I make them a day or two ahead by our recipe Soy Eggs (with the optional ingredients).
  10. Pressed Tofu   [Stew Bean Curd]   These stiff blocks can be found on the lightly refrigerated shelves of markets serving a Chinese community. I use the lighter non-baked version, but the baked could also be used. Cut into 4 slices per block and prepare the same way as the Soy Eggs, but you'll need more of the broth. An extra day for the flavors to penetrate would be good. For details see our Tofu page.
  11. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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