Asian Beef Stew
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 5 pounds English-cut short ribs
- Sea salt
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
- 3 whole star anise pods
- 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 celery ribs, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
- One 14.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes in juice
- 2 cups beef stock or broth
- 4 cups stemmed curly spinach (4 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Chopped cilantro, for garnish
- In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the coconut oil.
- Season the ribs with salt and pepper.
- Working in 2 batches, brown the ribs over moderately high heat, turning, 4 to 5 minutes per batch.
- Transfer the ribs to a large plate.
- Add the onion, garlic and ginger to the casserole and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in the five-spice powder, then add the star anise, carrots, celery and fish sauce and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
- Add the tomatoes, stock and short ribs to the casserole and bring to a simmer.
- Cover and cook over moderately low heat, turning the ribs every hour, until they are very tender, about 2 1/2 hours.
- Discard the star anise.
- Stir the spinach and lemon juice into the casserole and season with salt and pepper.
- Divide the stew among serving bowls and garnish with cilantro.