Asian Beef & Carrot Stew


3-4 tbsp olive oil

6 garlic cloves , thinly sliced

A thumb-size piece fresh root ginger , peeled and finely shredded

6 spring onions , sliced

1 red chili , deseeded and thinly sliced

1½kg stewing beef, cut into large pieces

6 tbsp plain flour , seasoned with salt & pepper

2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder

3 star anise

2 tsp demerera sugar

3 tbsp Chinese Rice wine

3 tbsp soy sauce

800ml beef stock or water

5 carrots, thickly sliced

stir fried greens and steamed basmati rice, to serve

Serves 6


Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large, shallow heavy based pot. Fry the garlic, ginger, onions and chili for 3 mins until soft and fragrant. Tip onto a plate. Coat the beef in the flour, add 1 tbsp more oil to the pan, then brown the meat in batches, adding the final tbsp oil if you need to. It should take about 5 mins to brown each batch properly.

Add the five-spice and star anise to the pan, tip in the gingery mix, 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. Heat oven to 150C.

Pour in the soy and stock (it won’t cover the meat completely), & carrots bring to a simmer, then tightly cover, transfer to the oven and cook for 1½-2 hrs, stirring the meat halfway through. The meat should be very tender, and any sinewy bits should have melted away. Season with more soy sauce if necessary. I buy my Asian spices and sauces from my favorite asian grocery store. Ladle into bowls over rice and serve with stir fried greens.