Celebrating the year of the Rooster

Beating drums and clashing cymbals accompanied the prancing lions which welcomed the Lunar New Year at Elements, bringing good luck to the residents and their families for the year of the Rooster.

Almost 200 residents, family members – including 40 children – and community leaders attended the celebration in Club Elements, which raised over $2000 for three charities.

According to tradition, each child received a red envelope containing money for the purchase of lollies, thereby guaranteeing them a sweet year ahead.

It was all hands-on deck in the kitchen as Managing Director, Chiou See Anderson and her team of residents cooked up a sumptuous Chinese banquet.

Of course, it included Chiou See’s signature dish – braised beef with Chinese wine. So, that we can all enjoy a taste of Chinese New Year, she has kindly shared the recipe:


  • 3-4 tbsp
  • 6 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • good thumb-size piece fresh root ginger, peeled and shredded
  • 1 bunch spring onions sliced
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 1½ kg braising beef (gravy beef/beef cheeks/beef brisket) cut into large pieces
  • 2 tbsp plain flour seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 tsp light muscovado sugar or palm sugar or any sugar
  • 3 tbsp Chinese cooking wine or dry sherry
  • 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 500ml beef or chicken stock


  1. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large, shallow casserole. Fry the garlic, ginger, onions and chilli for 3 mins until soft and fragrant. Tip onto a plate
  2. Toss the beef in the seasoned flour, add more oil to the pan to cover the base, then brown the meat in batches, adding more oil if you need to. It should take about 5 mins to brown each batch properly. Set aside.
  3. Add the five-spice and star anise to the pan, tip in the gingery mix from 1) above, then fry for 1 min until the spices are fragrant. Add the sugar, then the beef and stir until combined. Keep the heat high, then splash in the wine or sherry, scraping up any meaty bits.
  4. Heat oven to 150C/fan 130C/gas 2.
  5. Pour in the soy and stock (it won’t cover the meat completely), bring to a simmer, then tightly cover, transfer to the oven and cook for 3 to 4 hrs, stirring the meat halfway through. The meat should be very soft, and any sinewy bits should have melted away.
  6. As an alternative to using the oven, you can use a high pressure cooker. If using a high pressure cooker, cook it on high for 45 minutes, then remove lid and let it simmer for 30 minutes.

Serve with rice and Chinese vegetables.

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