Five-Spice Beef Stew

Serves 6




2 pounds boneless beef bottom round, trimmed and cut into 2-inch chunks

Kosher salt


2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

4 cups low-sodium beef broth

4 medium shallots, quartered

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 2-inch piece ginger, finely chopped

1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder

3 star anise pods

1 small cinnamon stick

2 tablespoons tomato paste

12 ounces medium carrots (about 3), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

12 ounces medium parsnips (about 3), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 small purple-topped turnips, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

1 large bunch spinach, thick stems discarded

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 tablespoon lime juice

Cilantro and thinly sliced red chile, for topping




  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Season the beef with a ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
  3. In a large, thick-walled cooking pot (Dutch oven), heat 1 tablespoon oil on medium heat.
  4. Cook the beef in batches, 6-8 minutes, until browned. Then put in a bowl.
  5. Mix ½ cup broth into the pot, scraping out browned bits, 1 minute. Pour juices into the bowl with the beef.
  6. Turn down the heat to medium. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pot with the shallots. Cook while occasionally stirring, until it is golden brown, 3-4 minutes.
  7. Stir in garlic, ginger, five-spice powder, star anise, and cinnamon. Cook, 2 minutes.
  8. Stir in tomato paste. Cook, 1 minute.
  9. Put the beef and the juices in the pot with carrots, parsnips, turnips, tomatoes, and the rest of the broth (3½ cups). Boil then cover; bake until the beef is tender, 1½-2 hours.
  10. Take out of the oven. Throw away the star anise and cinnamon. Mix in spinach, fish sauce, and lime juice.
  11. Top with cilantro and chile. Serve.


Recipe adapted from Good Housekeeping[i]


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