Star Anise Asian Beef Stew

Time: 2.5 hours

Serves 6

This is a stew that a friend of the Philippines used to make for our kids. The flavours are amazing and the beef becomes like butter. It is easy to make, it just needs to cook for a few hours to get the full effect of the flavours. My oldest son and I had the good fortune to have lunch with a NASA engineer who worked on the hubble telescope and is now working on its replacement and the one after that – very cool work. In reading about stars, there is a phrase that reminded me of this dish – “Appearing colorful and serene, this environment is anything but”… This stew may look like ordinary stew, it is anything but… enjoy it with roasted brussel sprouts, sauteed bok choy and, of course, rice!

Music Selection: Bradley Cooper & Lady Gaga – Shallow (A Star Is Born)


6 carrots, cut in ½ inch coins

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 onion, in medium chunks

2 tsp minced fresh ginger

1 bunch spring onion, sliced

1 red thai chili

1.5 kg beef stew meat, cut into ½ incyh cubes

4 Tbsp flour

1 tsp Chinese five spice powder

2 star anise

2 tsp brown sugar

4 Tbsp cooking wine – we like Marsala

4 Tbsp soy sauce

1 L beef broth

Serve with sautéed bok choy, roasted brussel sprouts, rice and Zhoug sauce


Pre-heat oven to 350 deg F.

Dredge the beef in flour. In a large dutch oven, that can go in the oven, heat the oil. Cook the beef in batches in the hot oil, until it is browned – about 5 minutes per batch. Set browned meat aside.

Add more oil to the pot, and saute the onion, garlic, ginger and carrot for a few minutes. In the meantime, but the star anise in cheesecloth and tie it. Pour the wine and broth and soy sauce into the pot and scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the flour and beef that might be sticking to the bottom. Add the Chinese five-spice, sugar and star anise. Bring to a boil, all the while scraping the bottom of the pot. Remove from heat, cover and put in oven – cook for 2 more hours.

In the meantime, prepare the rice, sautéed boy choy and roasted brussel sprouts.

When the stew is done, put some rice in individual bowls, ladle on the stew and top with some of the green onion. Serve with sautéed bok choy and roasted brussel sprouts with Zhoug sauce.

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