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Spiced Beef Recipe

Spiced Beef Recipe

This cold beef dish gains much of its flavor from star anise, one of the ingredients in Chinese five-spice powder.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 slices ginger
  • 2 pounds boneless beef shank
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1/2 cup dark soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 2-inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 1/2 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorn or coriander seeds, or to taste 
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar


Heat the oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger. Stir-fry until aromatic (about 30 seconds). Add the beef. Brown briefly, then stir-fry for 1 minute.

Add the rice wine or sherry, soy sauce, water, cinnamon stick, star anise and the peppercorn or coriander seeds. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 2 hours. (Remove the pot lid if the liquid is evaporating too quickly).

Stir in the sugar. Simmer for 10 more minutes, or until the beef is tender. Remove the beef from the pan. Cool. To serve, thinly slice the beef and serve cold on a platter. Garnish with freshly cilantro if desired.

The beef can be made ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen. Store the unsliced beef in a sealed plastic bag or container with a bit of the cooking liquid. Thaw before serving.

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