Asian Beef Stew



  1. 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  2. 5 pounds English-cut short ribs
  3. Sea salt
  4. Pepper
  5. 1 red onion, finely chopped
  6. 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  7. 3 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
  8. 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  9. 3 whole star anise pods
  10. 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  11. 2 celery ribs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  12. 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  13. One 14.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes in juice
  14. 2 cups beef stock or broth
  15. 4 cups stemmed curly spinach (4 ounces)
  16. 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  17. Chopped cilantro, for garnish


  1. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the coconut oil.
  2. Season the ribs with salt and pepper.
  3. Working in 2 batches, brown the ribs over moderately high heat, turning, 4 to 5 minutes per batch.
  4. Transfer the ribs to a large plate.
  5. Add the onion, garlic and ginger to the casserole and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes.
  6. Stir in the five-spice powder, then add the star anise, carrots, celery and fish sauce and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  7. Add the tomatoes, stock and short ribs to the casserole and bring to a simmer.
  8. Cover and cook over moderately low heat, turning the ribs every hour, until they are very tender, about 2 1/2 hours.
  9. Discard the star anise.
  10. Stir the spinach and lemon juice into the casserole and season with salt and pepper.
  11. Divide the stew among serving bowls and garnish with cilantro.