Now, I'm no chef and I take no responsibility or blame....
This is my best approximations of quantities, but I don't measure things except when baking.
"How my Mom would do it":
4-5 lbs of ngow nam beef
2-3 cloves of garlic
3-4 star anise
1-2 slices of ginger (about 1/2 in. thick)
4 tbsp (or more) of Soy Sauce
1 tsp of sugar
Water - enough to cover meat
Salt & Pepper to taste
Cut meat into cubes/squares (my mom chose to
cut before cooking to increase surface
area for seasoning & browning).
"Marinate" w/ Soy Sauce, salt, pepper and sugar.
Heat oil in dutch oven, brown meat.
Add garlic cloves and star anise and water.
Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and simmer until tender (at least 2.5 hrs in my experience).
You may need to add more water (not to mention soy sauce, salt, pepper, etc) during the braising process.
You will want to skim off the fat - there will be a bit. Or just put the cooled pot in the fridge and remove once hardened.
Same as above, but instead of browning the meat on the stovetop, I put the meat (whole) in baking pan(s) and broil it. I also sometimes sweat chopped onions along with the garlic and star anise while the meat is in the oven. Also, I sometimes add crushed red pepper flakes too.
Lately, I've been substituting chuck (I like to use choice or prime blade-cut chuck) for the real ngow nam meat because of relative ease - both in availability and cooking (it only takes an 90 mins if you use chuck. My brother's friend has used short ribs to make the dish. But there's nothing like the real thing - the broth is much richer and there's nothing like the braised cartilage.
I lo bak, so I use a smaller pot and remove some of the ngow nam & stock and add lo bak (I cut them into short strips rather than chunks) and cook for 5 mins or so, then add fun or mein.