From what I have been able to discern Cantonese cooking (like Sweet and Sour Pork) is generally located in southern China in cities like Hong Kong and Macau and tends to stay away from heavily spiced dishes. In contrast, this dish, listed in Hong’s The Chinese Cook Book (1952) as “Braised Beef Northern Style” (or Hon-Shu Koo-Law Gow-Yoke) makes a clear distinction as a regional specialty.
From my research, we can reasonably make the logical conclusion that ‘Northern Style’ refers to the culinary traits of Inner Mongolia that prominently featured braised red meat and is known to be heavily spiced, which is exactly what we find here. Chilli sauce, curry powder and Chinese 5 spice inflect this dish with a unique charm typical of Northeastern China. For the Chinese hot sauce, I used Sriracha but I’m sure any related chilli sauce would work. I have heard that there are minute differences between Chinese curry powder and Indian curry powder. So, if possible secure yourself a good quality Chinese curry powder for this recipe.
2 lbs beef, cubed
1 tbsp heavy (dark) soy sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp Chinese hot sauce
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp garlic powder
Dash Chinese 5 spice
1 tbsp rice wine
1 tsp Hoisin Sauce
3 cups soup stock
- Mix together all ingredients except for beef and stock. Add beef cubes and marinate for 1-3 days. Turning meat over occasionally.
- When ready to cook: add 1 cup of stock to large skillet, add beef and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Gradually add the rest of the stock and simmer until beef is tender.
- Serve with rice, vegetables and fried mushrooms.