Archives for category: Beef


This is Jesse’s chili competition recipe that won over many chefs at the Shanghai 2011 Chili Cook-Off. There are two different types of chilies. One is the competition type and the other is the homestyle. The competition type doesn’t have any fresh ingredients other than the beef itself. And no beans. The reason why they do this is because there could be fluctuation with the taste of onions, the sweetness of the tomatoes and etc. So the competition chili is directly made from dry ingredients to keep it as consistent as possible. Jesse has scaled down his recipe for you to make it at home. What are dumps you ask? Dumps are chili powder mixture going in at different times within the cooking cycle. The longer it cooks, the better it tastes. Enjoy!

4 pounds ground tri-tip
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 cups beef stock
1 1/2 cups tomato paste

Dump 1:
3 dried pablanos
2 dried chipotles
2 tablespoons mild chili powder
2 tablespoons medium spicy chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika

Dump 2:
2 tablespoons cumin powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons white vinegar

Cut the tri-tip into 3/8″ cubes.

In a spice grinder, grind the pablanos and chipotle peppers to fine powders.

In a medium stock pot, heat the canola oil on medium-high heat. Pour dump one in and stir around to open up the flavors of the dry ingredients. Throw in the cubed beef, brown then deglaze with the beef stock.

Turn the heat down low, add the tomato paste and simmer the chili for 2 hours.

Add dump two. Cover and simmer for two hours. Reduce the chili if you like a thicker consistency. Total of 4 hours cooking time.


One of our all-time favorite comfort foods is, the burger! And this time, the variation is brown beech mushroom and Swiss. It’s easy, fun to make and taste better than any burger joint in Shanghai. Brown beech mushrooms have a slightly crunchy texture and nutty flavor, pairs perfectly with juicy beef and savory fried onions. With roasted garlic aioli served on the side.

2 Australian ground beef patties
3-4 slices ripe tomato
2 slices Swiss cheese
1 cluster brown beech mushrooms
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 red onion, sliced
1/4 cup rice flour
1 small bunch arugula
2 sesame buns
Sweet butter
Canola oil for frying
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Slice the onions, dust them in rice flour and shake off excess. Heat canola oil in a medium pot. Deep fry the onion slices until golden brown. Pull the fried onions and drain on paper towel.

In a saute pan, saute the mushrooms with garlic, season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Season beef patties with salt and pepper on both sides. In a medium saute pan, heat a little bit of canola oil and cook the beef patties to desired temperature. We like our burgers medium-rare on the rare side, about 3 minutes on each side. After flipping the burgers over, top each patty with a slice of Swiss cheese and finish the cooking. Serve immediately on toasted and buttered sesame buns. Top with fresh sliced tomato, arugula, fried onions and sauteed mushrooms.

Roasted Garlic Aioli:

2 egg yolks
1 bulb garlic
1/2 cup good olive oil
1 cup canola oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Wrap the garlic bulb in aluminum foil. Bake the package in the oven for about 35 minutes until garlic is soft.

Squeeze about 1/2 bulb of roasted garlic (add more if you’d like) into a blender. Add all other ingredients in the blender except the oil. Start the blender, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and canola oil. Blend until smooth and fluffy. Can be stored up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.


Jesse, Matt, Brendan and Henry cooked at the Bubba’s 6th annual chili cook-off in Shanghai this year. It was an all day event from 7:00am to 7:00pm. One of our friends flew in the night before from Texas and brought us genuine Texas dried chilies. In this homemade chili mix, there were chipotles, Mexican chili, ancho chili, smoked poblanos, cayenne pepper, Mexican oregano and roasted cumin.

Jesse & Matt’s Chili Ingredients:

New York strip, cubed
Homemade chili powders
Onions
Garlic
Roasted tomatoes
Cilantro
Maple Syrup
Homemade beef stock
Homemade chicken stock
Salt

The amount of each ingredient can be adjusted to your own liking. Great winning chilies always have 2 to 3 dumps (dumps being chili powder mixture going in at different times within the cooking cycle). The longer it cooks, the better it tastes. That’s why you have to use a dense piece of beef like a sirloin or tri tip. Jesse & Matt smoked part of the strip to add a great smoky flavor to the chili. For the homemade beef stock, Jesse browned beef bones, beef short ribs and aromatics then slowly simmered for hours.


Matt, Jesse and Henry behind their Joe Dirt themed chili booth.


This rich soup is flavorful and hearty. Our version of this Taiwanese red roasted (or braised) beef noodle soup is made of stewed beef shanks, aromatics, beef broth, vegetables and noodles. When meat is braised with soy sauce, Chinese call hong shao, or red roasted. What makes a good niu rou mian (beef noodle soup) are the tender meat with a good balance of fat and tendon, flavorful broth and the “Q” texture (toothsome) of the noodles. For variations, sometimes we will char 2 onions and simmer them in the broth for a darker, sweeter flavor or season the broth with Taiwanese shacha sauce 牛頭牌沙茶酱. This is optional, wrap 1 1/2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns in cheese cloth and add to the broth. Jesse’s not a big fan of Sichuan peppercorns, but I like them and they give an extra savory kick, 鲜度 to the soup.

We love Taiwanese brand soy sauce and bean pastes, which can be purchased at Taiwanese grocery stores and Carrefour in Gubei. Noodles are available and made fresh daily at any local market. Here’s our favorite wet market in the French Concession: Jiashan Market at 328 Jianguo lu near Taiyuan lu (嘉善菜场, 建国西路328号近太原路). Happy Cooking!

2 pounds Australian or Shandong premium beef shank
8 scallions, plus 2 more finely chopped
1 small bunch Chinese greens (青菜,小白菜或青江菜)
2 packages fresh thick noodles (家常粗麵條)
4 ginger, 1″ thick slices
5 cloves garlic
3 red chilies
4 star anise
1 cinnamon stick, 4″ long
1 licorice root stick, 3″ long
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large carrot, roughly chopped
2 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 large white turnip, roughly chopped
1 piece rock sugar, about 2 tablespoons
1/2 cup good aged rice wine
1 cup  Taiwanese soy sauce (台灣金蘭醬油)
2 tablespoons fermented bean paste (台灣岡山豆瓣醬)
1 tablespoon spicy fermented bean paste (台灣岡山辣豆瓣醬)
6 cups water

Wash the Chinese greens, finely chop 2 scallions and set aside.

In a large pot, boil beef shanks for about 7 minutes, pour shanks through a strainer and discard the water. Wash shanks thoroughly.

In the same large pot, heat oil over high heat, brown the aromatics: ginger pieces, scallions, whole garlic cloves, red chilies, star anise, cinnamon stick and licorice, about 5 minutes. Then add in bean pastes and saute until your kitchen is filled with the aroma, about 3 minutes.

Deglaze the pot with rice wine and soy sauce. Add the beef shanks, carrot, tomatoes, turnip, rock sugar and water. Lower heat and simmer for 1 hour.

Spoon out the beef shanks and let cool. Slice, against the grain, to 1.5″ thick slices. Put the shanks back into the broth and simmer for another 45 minutes to an hour or until meat is tender but not falling apart. Strain the broth, discard ginger pieces, garlic, tomato skins, carrot and turnip.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the fresh noodles until al dente. In the same pot, blanch Chinese greens for about 10 seconds and strain.

In a deep soup bowl, place cooked noodles on the bottom, ladle in beef broth, beef stock (if you want to go through the trouble: char beef bones and aromatics, slowly simmer for hours to yield an intense beef stock) and beef slices. Top with Chinese greens, chopped scallions and serve immediately.


There are all types and variations to a good burger. Ours is tasty and juicy with really good, robust flavor of the ground beef chuck. I’ll have to say this is the best burger in Shanghai, and you too can easily make it in your own kitchen! ^.^~

1/2 pound ground Australian or Shandong beef chuck or rib meat
4 tablespoons bleu cheese
1/2 large leek, julienned
4 cups peanut oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 sesame buns
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Form the ground meat into 2 burger patties, about 1/4 pound each. Salt and pepper liberally on both sides.

Clean and julienne the leeks to 4″ long strips. Separate all the pieces. Deep fry in peanut oil until golden brown.

In a frying pan, heat 1/2 tablespoon peanut oil (from frying the leeks) and cook the hamburgers until desired temperature. We like our burgers medium rare on the rare side, so about 3 minutes on each side. Serve immediately on toasted and buttered buns, top with bleu cheese, fried leeks and any condiment that you like.

How to make the best fries:

4 large potatoes
4 cups peanut oil, from frying leeks
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Cut the potatoes into 1/2″ thick strips, pat them dry with paper towel.

We will fry the potatoes twice. First cook them through, the second time we fry them until golden and crispy. Heat the oil in a deep pot, fry the potatoes in 4 batches until golden, about 2-3 minutes each. Crowding the fryer will lower the oil temperature, and your fries will get soggy and not brown. Drain on paper towel.

Fry a second time until the fries are golden brown and crispy, about one minute. Remove and drain on paper towel. Salt and pepper generously.

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