April 14, 2023

Beef Rib Finger Stew

Recipe: David Schwartz

This stew comes from David Schwartz, co-owner and executive chef of Big Hug Hospitality, which owns Mimi Chinese and Sunnys Chinese in Toronto.

“I love making beef stews in the winter, and this dish is a great twist on a classic. The rib finger cut is underrated but often the best part.” — David Schwartz


  • 1 kg beef rib “finger” meat, cut into 3″ pieces (consistent size)
  • 100 mL oil (preferably coconut, canola, sunflower, peanut or grapeseed) Kosher salt, to taste
  • 4 medium shallots, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, diced
  • 60 mL sherry, dry vermouth or
  • Shaoxing wine (Chinese cooking wine) 2 litres beef stock
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 5 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 150 g carrot, cut into 1″ pieces 3 stems thyme
  • 150 g parsley root
  • 350 g red potatoes (cut into pieces
  • the same size as beef) 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 100 g shiitake mushrooms
  • Amaranth greens, 1⁄2 bunch chives (finely diced), extra-virgin olive oil, black pepper, 5 button mushrooms, for garnish


Yield: 3-4

Make Beef

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F convection (450°F without convection).
  2. Toss beef in oil and season with kosher salt. Space beef out on parchment- lined baking tray and cook until nicely caramelized, about 15 minutes.

Make Stew

  1. Caramelize shallots, onion and garlic cloves on medium heat in Dutch oven or deep cast-iron pot.
  2. Once onions have some colour, add sherry or dry vermouth. The goal is to cook out alcohol and remove and release all caramelized bits from bottom of pot.
  3. Add beef, beef stock, honey, salt, bay leaves and dark soy sauce. Cook at low-medium heat, about 90 minutes, then add carrot, thyme, parsley root and potatoes. Cook until meat and vegetables are tender.
  4. In separate bowl, make slurry by combining cornstarch with just enough cold water to dissolve.
  5. Bring stew to a boil and slowly whisk in cornstarch slurry, until glazed. Sauce should coat back of spoon (you may not need all of the slurry).

Finish & Serve

  1. Add in mushrooms just before serving, so they just cook out. Turn off heat. Adjust seasoning with salt and honey, to taste.
  2. Transfer stew to plate and garnish with amaranth greens, chives, olive oil, black pepper and a few slices of button mushrooms (thinly sliced on mandoline).

Photography by Gabriel Li (David’s portrait)/David Schwartz (beef stew