Braised Beef with Star Anise Recipe

Asian flavours blend with tomato and orange to give the stewing beef a spicy kick. It's one of those meals that require little preparation and cook slowly. It can be stored frozen. 

Applesauce can be substituted for tomato juice if there are intolerances or allergies to the nightshade family of plants.

Orange peel is like the herb chen pi which allows the rich food to be broken down and digested without causing stagnation. It aids the stomach and digestion by strengthening.

Star anise is the herb da hui xiang, it helps warm the low back and abdomen and regulates the movement of the food through the body.

Prep time: 10 minutes  Cook time: 3 hours  Serves: 6 


  • 1.5 kg Stewing Beef cut into large chunks 
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 cups tomato juice or apple sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 4 whole star anise (da hui xiang)
  • 4 dried chillies
  • 2 thumb-sized pieces fresh ginger, thinly sliced (18 slices)
  • Rind of ½ orange, removed with a potato peeler so there is no pith (will have similar properties to chen pi)
  • 1 whole head garlic, cloves peeled, halved and trimmed

How to prepare

Turn the oven to 180˚C  and preheat.

Season the beef with salt and pepper and brown in a pan.

In a separate bowl, combine the tomato juice, water, sugar, vinegar and soy sauce. 

Pour the liquid over the browned meat, scatter with the star anise, chillies, sliced ginger, orange rind and garlic cloves.

Cover with a piece of baking paper to stop any exposed meat from drying out and then cover the dish with a tight fitting lid.               

Cook for 2½ hours until very tender.

This dish can be cooked a day or two ahead, in which case bake for 2 hours then reheat for 40 minutes at 180˚C.

 Enjoy 'cos life is for living'.