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niu ro mien (beef noodle soup)

When my friend V was moving from her “sprawling” D.C. condo to her shoebox New York City apartment, she bequeathed her shiny red slow cooker (aka CrockPot) to me. I was very sad to see V go, but after I finished mourning, I was pretty excited to use her slow cooker :).

I had never used a slow cooker, but I’ve had great luck using it to make pernil. I also had a mishap when I did not set the timer for a pork tenderloin and ended up being stuck at the office a few hours later than I had anticipated.

This week, I decided to give the beef shank and broth of niu ro mien (traditional Taiwanese beef noodle soup) a try in the slow cooker. Normally, I would prepare the beef and broth in a pot on the stovetop, but I correctly guessed that the beef tenderness and broth flavors would benefit from an extended low-heat incubation.

There are many iterations of niu ro mien, but this time I used one beef shank, approximately 3/4 cups of soy, ginger, green scallions, Taiwanese basil, garlic, garlic chili paste, honey, and approximately 4 cups of water. And I learned my lesson with the pork tenderloin and set the timer to 7 hours.

After 7 hours, the beef was tender and falling off the bone but not disintegrating. The broth was flavorful, rich, and not too salty. All in all, the no-muss-no-fuss preparation was my best result yet of one of my favorite dishes!

strained broth