Beauty and the Beef

Cha Shao Beef cooked smallIn the fairytale, Beauty falls in love with the Beast, without knowing that inside the outer ugliness was the handsome prince of her dreams. It is a bit like my Cha Shao Roast Beef, crispy and crusty on the outside with lean deliciousness within.

The Beast, on the other hand, saw Beauty and immediately fell deeply in love with her and her obvious charms. It’s a bit like that with me and Bill Granger‘s wonderful Mango Pudding. It was love at first bite.

To make it a true fairytale meal, I added in some simple Singapore Noodles to go with the beef. If you are a vegetarian, the noodles are good for you too.

Everything bar the ginger. Don’t forget the ginger.

Cha Shao Roast Beef
I managed to photograph everything needed for the beef, except the ginger. The list is as follows:

  • 1 kilo of best beef fillet
  • 1 inch of ginger chopped like in the photo
  • 6 cloves of garlic chopped like in the photo
  • 2 teaspoons of fermented bean curd
  • 2 tablespoons of rice wine
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of Hoi Sin sauce or Peking Duck Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

My recipe is an adaptation of various recipes from various cookbooks. The Hamlyn published Complete Encyclopedia of Chinese Cooking is my oldest and closest reference. You will get everything bar the beef and the oil in the Chinese Supermarket (The butcher for the beef). Put the ingredients in a shallow dish and spoon it over the beef. Leave it there for two to four hours turning and basting every half hour.

This is one of the easiest dishes to cook, once you get over the price of that prime fillet.

Put it on a rack. Baste it. Put it in a very hot oven (230 – 240 degrees C) for 12 minutes, turning and re-basting half way through. Take it out and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Although I say so myself, the Beef Beast is a bit of a Beauty itself.

Carve it and serve it with the noodles.

The Prince within. Delicious, melt in the mouth beef inside a highly flavoured crust.

Simple Singapore Noodles

  • 6 portions of dried fine Chinese noodles, cooked and drained. Rinse with cold water and add a little oil to stop them sticking.
  • 2 red onions
  • 2 white onions
  • 1 bunch spring onions cut diagonally into 2.5cm / 1 inch pieces
  • 1 tin of water chestnuts, rinsed, chopped in half or quarters if you have the patience
  • 8 to 12 dried Chinese mushrooms, reconstituted and sliced.
  • 1 inch of ginger chopped fine
  • 3 cloves of garlic chopped fine
  • 6 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons of hot curry powder
  • 4 – 6 tablespoons of vegetable oil for frying

    Three photos should do it for the noodles. Photo 1 – the onions, ginger and garlic cooking.

Put the wok on the heat. When hot add the oil. Add the onions, ginger and garlic. fry until soft. Add the spring onions, mushrooms and water chestnuts. Fry a bit and then add the curry powder.

Photo 2 the curry powder added. At this stage, your arm will feel strong, very strong.

Stir to coat all the vegetables. Add the noodles and stir until it really hurts. Add the soy sauce and stir some more until the noodles are all lightly coated in soy and curry powder and the whole dish is hot.

Photo 3. the noodles stirred and stirred. You are feeling weak. Your arm is sore.

Turn off the gas and give your arm a rest.

Next is the Beauty bit. Bill Granger‘s Mango Pudding 

All the ingredients are in the photo this time. If there had been ginger, I would have forgotten it but there isn’t so I didn’t.

A really easy desert to make and not too many complicated ingredients.

  • 3 mangos
  • 2 gelatine leaves
  • 3 tablespoons single cream
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 375g mango flesh pureéd (about 1- 2 mangos) or
    3 if they are the dodgy ones one gets in Ireland.
  • 3 tablespoons natural yoghurt
  • 1.5 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 mango peeled and diced for presentation.

The warming takes only a couple of minutes. The colour is magnificent.

Soak the gelatine in cold water. Warm the cream, sugar and soaked gelatine in a medium pot over a medium heat until the sugar melts. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes. Add the mango pulp and whisk to blend.

I made six. Four for today, two for tomorrow.

Put the mixture into bowls and refrigerate for 4 hours. Serve topped with the chopped mango.

A slice of mango and a mint leaf finish the dish for serving.

The recipe is from Bill Granger’s ‘Everyday Asian’ cookbook. Thanks Bill. The Mango Pudding is a real Beauty.

A Christmas present from a good friend. One of the best cookery books I possess.

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Latest comments
  • Look very tasty. Did you ever try searing the beef before putting it in the oven or would that over cook it?

    Om Nom Nom

  • I know that’s good!

  • Wonderful meal!

  • Admiration for anyone who can take a massive piece of fillet like that and risk everything – and pull it off by the look of it. BTW I have major knife envy, that thing looks like it could take down a tree.

    • High risk. Thankfully high reward with this one. Really tasty.

  • Looks like an amazing meal! One of these days I hope I can cook meat to look like that roast beef. Yum!

  • This is a must try for me!!!

  • Looks SO good. LOVE your photos.

  • This looks delicious. I love the mango pudding too.
    I would have to hide the ‘two for tomorrow’ though around here.

  • It looks so delicious!

  • I just found your blog. I love a blog about something other than baking. Can’t wait to see your next post.

    • Thanks Connie. A special one featuring Venison. Will post towards the end of next week. I appreciate you stopping by.

  • Did you have to do meat!!!??? I’m supposed to be watching my cholesterol and now I feel like cooking a roast. Your blog is great! Cindy

  • Very pretty! All the dishes that is!

  • Mango is my favourite fruit. The pudding looks so delicious! It is indeed a Beauty! Ever made mango lassies?

    • No. What are they? It is very difficult to get half decent mangos here in Ireland.

      • Mango lassi is a smoothie/drink made of mango pulp, yoghurt, milk and sugar added to taste. You can use canned pulp as well as freshly made pulp half and half. Refrigerated it is very refreshing in summer. Very popular in Indian restaurants. Can flavour with vanilla or cardamom. I prefer vanilla. My easy, lazy, way to make it is mix canned mango pulp with vanilla ice cream and vanilla flavoured yoghurt!

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