Braised Beef Brisket and Tendon – 炆牛筋腩

Braised beef brisket and tendon is the number one comfort food in China.  In the province of Guangdong, (Southern China) it ranks the same as Wonton in most noodle houses.  Some noodle houses even advertise beef brisket as their specialty.  It is always on my to do list every time when I travel to Hong Kong – finding a bowl of noodle with a perfect beef brisket and tendon!

Note:

  • Use boneless beef short rib plate, (牛坑腩) just ask your butcher to remove the long bone
  • It takes time, about three hours; it’ll taste even better when you eat it the next day
  • Blanch the beef and tendon first before cutting them to cube
Braised Beef Brisket and Tendon
Braised Beef Brisket and Tendon

Ingredients:

Beef short rib plate (boneless)                 2 lbs  牛坑腩

Beef tendon                                                 2 lbs

White radish                                                1x cut to small cubes

Ginger                                                           1 big piece-cut to pieces

Garlic                                                             6 cloves

Shallot                                                           x1 cut to pieces

Dark soy sauce                                            4 tablespoons

Light soy sauce                                           4 tablespoons

Rock sugar                                                   50 gm

Oil                                                                 4 tablespoons

Cooking wine                                              4 tablespoons

Water                                                           8 cups

Making the magic sauce:

Salted Red bean curb                                3 tablespoons    南乳

Hoisin sauce                                                  1 ½ tablespoons

Ground bean sauce                                     3 tablespoons

Oyster sauce                                                 1 ½ tablespoons

Sugar                                                               1 tablespoon

Garlic (minced)                                              1 tablespoon

Shallot (minced)                                            1 tablespoon

Ginger (minced)                                             1 tablespoon

Oil                                                                     2 tablespoons

Method:

Browning the beef and tendon:

  • Blanch the brisket and tendon in a big pot of boiling water for ten minutes. Take beef out and go through a cold water bath immediately. Cut up brisket and tendon to small cubes.
  • Heat oil in wok and put in ginger, garlic and shallot.  Put in beef brisket and tendon cubes once you can smell the garlic and ginger smoking.  Brown the brisket and tendon for five minutes and turn over often to avoid burning.
  • Splash the cooking wine to the edge of the wok and let it evaporate. Keep turning the brisket so essence of the wine can mix in with the beef.
  • Take everything out from the wok and separate the brisket and tendon. (Tendon takes an extra hour to cook)

Prepare the magic sauce:

  • Heat wok to medium heat, put in two tablespoons of oil.  Add minced garlic, ginger, and shallot to the wok and let it cook for a minute but avoid burning.  Put in red bean curb sauce, hoisin sauce, ground bean sauce, oyster sauce and sugar. Mix well and let it simmer for two minutes so everything can blend in together.

Braising the tendon and the brisket:

  • Place tendon in the wok with four cups of water, dark sauce, light soy sauce, oyster sauce and add rock sugar, stir well till it boils again. Turn heat down to medium low, cover it with a lid and let it simmer for an hour.
  • Turn heat to high. Add beef brisket at the end of an hour. Mix well with the tendon and allow liquid to boil again. Cover with a lid and turn heat down to medium low and let it simmer for another hour.
  • Add white radish at the end of the second hour, mix well. Cover it with the lid and allow simmer for another hour.  If the brisket is not tender enough, you can cook it for another half an hour.  Turn heat to high to reduce excess liquid if necessary.
  • As an option, mix four teaspoons of cornstarch with four teaspoons of water to thicken the sauce.  Add a few chopped scallions and cilantro on top before serving, dinner is served.
  • You can serve with wonton noodle, fan rice noodle, ramen, or plain rice.  It’ll be a happiest place in the house!
Boneless beef short rib plate
Boneless beef short rib plate
Beef tendon
Beef tendon
White Radish
White Radish
Blanching the brisket and tendon in big pot of boiling hot water
Blanching the brisket and tendon in big pot of boiling hot water
Cold water bath
Cold water bath
Cut up beef brisket and tendon to small cubs after water bath
Cut up beef brisket and tendon to small cubs after water bath
Frying garlic_ginger_shallot in wok
Frying garlic_ginger_shallot in wok
Browning beef brisket
Browning beef brisket
Browning beef brisket_golden brown color
Browning beef brisket_golden brown color
Frying minced garlic_ginger_shallot
Frying minced garlic_ginger_shallot
Adding mixed sauces in minced garlic_ginger_shallot
Adding mixed sauces in minced garlic_ginger_shallot
Dark say sauce
Dark soy sauce
Oyster sauce
Oyster sauce
Salted Red Bean Curd
Salted Red Bean Curd
Ground bean sauce
Ground bean sauce
Hoisin sauce
Hoisin sauce
Rock sugar
Rock sugar
Beef tendon in mixed sauce
Beef tendon in mixed sauce
Add water and rock sugar to beef tendon
Add water and rock sugar to beef tendon
Cover mixture cook for an hour
Cover mixture cook for an hour
Add beef brisket after an hour
Add beef brisket after an hour
Add white radish wedges after two hours
Add white radish wedges after two hours
Beef brisket_tendon_white radish after three hours
Beef brisket_tendon_white radish after three hours
Serving Braised Beef Brisket and Tendon with hot sauce
Serving Braised Beef Brisket and Tendon with hot sauce

14 Comments Add yours

  1. Thank you for this very detailed recipe. The Cantonese style braised beef is one of my absolute favorite. I recently discovered a Chinese meat shop that sells this prized cut of brisket (牛坑腩). I’ll be trying out this recipe very soon. Thanks for sharing!

  2. pannamari616 says:

    This’ my favorite dish in Chinese restaurants. I’ve tried to cook it several times in my own way. Not too bad but absolutely not perfect. I’ll try your recipe next time I cook this!

  3. Rose says:

    Hi Eddy,

    In the step where you start to add the tendons to the wok, you instructed to add water, soy sauces, sugar and oyster sauce. How much oyster sauce should I add? The recipe calls for 1.5 tblsp but that went to the magic sauce. Thanks!

  4. Rose says:

    This is by far the best braised beef recipe I’ve made. My family and even my picky 8 year-old loved it. Definitely a keeper!

  5. Elwin Lowe says:

    Hi Eddy, I asked my mom if your recipe was a good one and her reply was that my grandmother always made it this way. I’d say that’s a pretty good compliment!

  6. Richard E. says:

    My friend and i first had beef tendon done this way when we went to a restaurant in Arlington Virginia. Our Chinese guest said that it was the best he’d had since he was in Canton. This recipe is the first I’ve found that comes as close as I can remember to that dish.

    By the way, the beef tendon seems to help reduce the usual muscle soreness that follows the day after a hard physical workout.

  7. Jenn says:

    I love Cantonese-style braised beef brisket but I never knew that I should have been buying beef short rib plate – I always wondered why my brisket cuts didn’t look as fatty! Thank you for all the photos, too – I would never had identified this cut of meat otherwise!

  8. Tony kong says:

    Very helpful. Will try the recipe.

  9. Jessie says:

    Eddie, when do I add the other 4 cups of water?

  10. Tom Lee says:

    Dear Eddy,
    我剛構思
    “薑葱陳皮栗子炆鴨”
    不知能否用 “燒鴨” 代替??
    想慳工夫免去炸鴨的麻煩。
    但不知用多少時間去炆 請指教。
    謝過了。
    Tom

    1. eddyskitchen says:

      Hi Tom,
      你可以用燒鴨來到做炆鴨,很多中下餐館用賣不出去的燒鴨做「鴨腿麵」以減少成本!但是燒鴨本身乃用花椒八角五香粉肉桂等等做香料,這種香味會走入你想做的粟子陳皮炆鴨,同時燒鴨的鴨皮不會一開就化. 這樣會影響你的陳皮鴨. 同時燒鴨多用三磅左右的鴨做,三磅鴨燒好後有二磅半,做炆鴨太細了!。我都是提議你用新鮮4磅光鴨,用老抽上色再炸,然後再用上等蠔油頭抽粟子陳皮炆兩小時, 收乾醬汁然後上碟食用,鴨不用切開,可完隻上,在桌上用刀叉在客人面前分開,大方得體!
      Eddy

  11. Paul says:

    Best dish! I’ve made this several times for the healing properties of the beef tendon.

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