As the weather starts to cool down in Hong Kong we are automatically drawn to heartier foods using low and slow cooking methods with ingredients that are richer and more filling. There’s nothing more comforting than having a hot meal at the end of chilly day or after a long hike in the hills to warm your soul and stomach.
In winter we like to cook tougher cuts of meats such as Beef Cheeks, Oxtail or Lamb shanks in a slow braise which helps to break down connective tissues and render a soft, succulent and luxurious dish.
To ‘braise’ actually means to fry first then to slowly stew in a liquid in a closed container. The frying part is essential as this caramelizes the meat which gives the dish its depth of flavour. The liquid in which we stew the meat actually turns into the sauce so this is also very important, Red wine, beer and stock are liquids that we like to use in winter. A mirepoix of vegetables (diced onion, carrot & celery) also add a unique flavour and can be left chunky or blended down to thicken a sauce.
We are going to share with you 3 winter recipes that are easy to prepare and for sure will impress your guests!
TIP. These dishes can be prepared in advance and reheated, the flavours actually build overnight.
This recipe is now an all-time favourite and wagyu beef have become one of our best-selling items from our online store and in our shops This dish is easy dead easy to make but does require 4-5 hours to slow cook the cheefs. For this particular recipe we used Gweilo Imperial Mocha Stout which has hints of chocolate and coffee that work perfectly with the velvety texture of the cheeks. We suggest serving the cheeks with creamy mashed potatoes or polenta. A variation of this recipe is to use the filling for a decadent beef cheek pie.
Oxtail is an inexpensive and utterly delicious cut of beef that is often overlooked, it is a great winter dish and is perfect for European and Chinese methods of cookery. In this recipe we have slow braised the tail parts in red wine, the bones of tails add a depth of flavour plus releases collogen into the sauce to thicken it.
As the colder weather sets in, there is something comforting about a plate of decadent lamb shank with creamy mash and a rich red wine sauce. These shanks are from Dorper Lamb which had a milder less gamey flavour which we find suits this recipe perfectly.