Ken Hom’s mother’s braised east-west beef stew

If anyone's mum has the best beef stew, it's got to be Ken Hom's mum.

Beef stew

Recipe courtesy of Lee Kum Kee



  • Beef brisket 900g - 1kg
  • Tinned plum tomatoes 2 x 400g cans
  • Olive oil 1 tbsp
  • Groundnut oil 1 tbsp
  • Onions 225g, peeled and corsely chopped
  • Garlic 2 tbsp, finely chopped
  • Lee Kum Kee plum sauce 3 tbsp
  • Lee Kum Kee hoisin sauce 2 tbsp
  • Shaoxing rice wine 3 tbsp, or dry sherry
  • Zest of a lemon
  • Lee Kum Kee Premium light soy sauce 2 tbsp
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Carrots 450g, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Turnips 450g, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • New potatoes 225g, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Olives small handful


  • Step 1

    Blanch the beef for 10 minutes in boiling water, drain well in a colander, and pat dry with paper towels.

  • Step 2

    Put the tomatoes into a food processor and blend for just a few seconds or put them through a food mill. Set aside.

  • Step 3

    Heat a heavy casserole pot over moderate heat, add the olive and peanut oil, and slowly brown the beef on all sides. Remove them with a slotted spoon and pour off the excess fat and oil, leaving just 1 tablespoon. Add the onions and garlic, and cook for a few minutes until they are translucent.

  • Step 4

    Add to the onions and garlic the beef, tomatoes, plum sauce, hoisin sauce, Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry, lemon zest, soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 1½ hours, or until the beef is tender. Skim the fat from the surface from time to time.

  • Step 5

    Add the carrots, turnips, and potatoes and cook, covered, for 20 minutes or until tender. Add the olives and heat them through. Skim off any surface fat and serve at once with plain rice on the side.