Rice is a must for soaking up all the sauce.
- 2 pounds beef short ribs, or substitute 1 pound beef chuck or stew meat
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
- 2 cups water
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- One 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced into 3 pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 pieces star anise
- 2 pieces dried tangerine peel
- 3 whole dried red chilies
- 1/2 teaspoon ground Sichuan pepper (optional)
- 2 large red carrots, peeled and chopped into small bite-sized pieces
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot, Dutch oven, or pan with deep sides over medium-high heat. Using tongs, toss the beef lightly in the flour in a shallow dish.
Sear the beef until lightly brown all around, about 2 minutes. Transfer the beef to a plate and set aside.
Lower the heat to medium. In the same pot or Dutch oven, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Sauté the onions for about 2 to 3 minutes, until aromatic and softened. Return the beef to the pot. Add the rice wine to lift any beef drippings from the bottom of the pan. Add the water, sugar, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, star anise, tangerine peel, chilies, and optional Sichuan pepper. Bring the liquid to a boil, then lower to a gentle simmer. Cook uncovered for 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the carrots to the pot and cook for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the carrots are tender and the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Taste the stew and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed. Transfer to a large serving dish and serve warm with rice.