Fragrant star-anise beef
Serves 6 | prep 30 mins | total time
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1kg shin of beef, cut into chunky pieces
- 3 red peppers, deseeded and cut into chunky pieces, roughly 5-6cm
- 2 onions, cut into wedges
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 2 tsp Chinese five spice
- 3 whole star anise
- 2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped or ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
- 2 tbsp dark brown soft sugar
- 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 600ml hot beef stock
- 1 x 200g pack extra-fine beans
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds, lightly crushed
- a small handful of coriander leaves
- 4 tbsp buttermilk
The stew can be frozen for up to 2 months.
- Preheat the oven to 150°C, fan 130°C, gas 2. Begin by getting all the frying out of the way. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a deep casserole over a high heat. Brown the pieces of beef shin, in batches to avoid overcrowding; remove and set aside as they are done.
- Add a further 1 tablespoon oil to the casserole and add the peppers, in 2 batches, until they begin to char – this takes about 3-4 minutes. Set aside in a separate bowl. Finally, reduce the heat to medium, add 1 tablespoon oil and the onion to the casserole. Soften for approximately 5 minutes, adding in the garlic for the last minute. Stir through the flour. Throw in the five spice, star anise and chopped chilli. Sprinkle with the brown sugar, season with black pepper and heat through for a minute or so. Return all the beef to the pan.
- Add the soy sauce and beef stock and bring to the boil. Cover and transfer to the oven for 2 hours. When this time is up, remove the lid, stir in the peppers and return to the oven to cook for a further 30 minutes or until the beef is completely tender.
Tip The buttermilk takes the heat from the casserole, so add more if you feel your palate needs it.
- Cool completely and transfer to freezer bags. Label and freeze.
- When ready to serve, remove from the freezer the night before needed and allow to defrost for 24 hours in the fridge. Transfer to a pan, add the green beans, and warm, covered, over a gentle heat until bubbling and the beans are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
- Just before serving, heat a dry pan over a high heat. Add the coriander seeds and toast. Serve the casserole topped with a handful of coriander leaves, toasted coriander seeds and a drizzle of buttermilk.