Slow-Braised Daikon and Shiitake Beef Shanks

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Another trip to the Chinese superstore! Another cartful of great, fresh produce and all you need for a succulent, slow-braised dish! This time we got daikon and shiitake mushrooms to cook with the whole, fresh beef shanks from the butcher’s counter. This recipe requires a few ingredients only and, as you will find out, two beef shanks and one giant Asian radish will fill your slow-cooker! The tomatoes and the peppers act as thickeners for the mild-tasting juices given off by the daikon root, at the same time they bring sweetness and depth to the dish.

Ingredients for 6 servings:

2 beef shanks (about 2 pounds)

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 daikon root

3 sticks celery

1½ cup shiitake mushrooms

Whole hot chillies to taste

½ to 1 cup dry white wine

Garlic stems

2 bay leaves

16 ounces can tomato

Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Chop the daikon, celery and mushrooms and transfer to the slow cooker.

2. Cut the stems off the peppers and add to the vegetables with the bay leaves. (NB: If you are sensitive to hot chillies, you can half them and remove the seeds or you can keep them whole and poke them with a fork to slowly let the heat diffuse into the dish)

3. Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat.

4. Mix the flour with salt and pepper on a plate and coat the beef shanks with the flour mixture. Drain the flour and brown the meat in the hot oil.

5. Transfer the beef shanks to the slow cooker.

6. Chop the garlic stems and add to the hot pan. Stir-fry for 1-2 mns over low to medium-high heat.

7. Deglaze with the wine and stir in the leftover flour.

8. Let simmer for 2 mns. Pour the gravy over the meat.

9. Slow cook on high for 1 hour.

10. Add the tomatoes and cook for at least another 6 hrs, until the meat is fork tender.

11. Serve hot over steamed rice, asparagus or green beans.

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