Exploring New Flavours ❊ Ginger Orange Beef Stew with Chinese Five Spice

Let your pot of stew be a vehicle to transport you around the world of flavour! Case in point, this Ginger Orange Beef Stew with Chinese Five Spice.


Ginger Orange Beef Stew ❘ UrbanCottageLife.com

The other day, in a rare occurrence of daytime television viewing, I happened to catch an episode of Chef Michael Smith’s “Cooking at Home” show. The dish he made completely inspired me; in fact, I went out that afternoon to buy the ingredients I needed and made it for dinner.

I didn’t write down the recipe or look it up online; rather I went by memory and what I thought would work. The resulting dish had a complex depth of flavour in the rich broth and tender beef. Ginger and orange complement each other so well, and the addition of the Chinese five spice powder upped the Asian flavour profile.

I’ve only used this spice blend once, years ago, and didn’t care for it at the time. Fortunately, my palate has developed to the point where I now enjoy savoury dishes with this aromatic combination of star anise and other spices that I previously associated with desserts.

I’m so glad I happened to sit down in front of the TV and catch this program. I now have another tasty dish in my repertoire that would be great to serve to company.

Ginger Orange Beef Stew ❘ UrbanCottageLife.com


Ginger Orange Beef Stew

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This dish is inspired by Chef MIchael Smith’s Orange Ginger Beef recipe. Check his out, and see how mine compares to the original! The next time I make this I may add a minced red chile pepper to increase the heat level. Fragrant basmati rice is an excellent accompaniment to this dish.

Ginger Orange Beef Stew ❘ UrbanCottageLife.com© Marlene Cornelis/Urban Cottage Life 2013

Serves two.

  • 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • About 1 to 1-1/2 pounds of blade steak (mine was organic Canadian beef)
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3-inch knob of ginger, scrubbed and sliced about 1/8-inch thick
  • 2 carrots, sliced about 1/2-inch thick
  • Bunch of scallions (green onions), sliced (divide the green and white parts)
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Juice of 2 navel oranges (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1-1/2 cups beef broth (low sodium)
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • Small bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 4 to 6 ounces (or one bag) baby spinach

Heat the coconut oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat, then quickly brown the steak on both sides. Set the meat aside, and add the onion, ginger, carrots and the white part of the scallions to the pot. Turn the heat to medium, and stir until all the caramelized bits (excuse me, the fond) have released from the bottom of the pan.

Add the orange zest, juice, broth, Chinese five spice, pepper, salt, honey and soya sauce. Give everything a good stir, then return the beef to the pot. Cover, bring to a boil, then turn the heat to simmer and cook for about an hour. The beef will be falling-apart tender when it’s done. At this point, you could remove the meat, cut it into pieces and return it to the pot; otherwise leave it as is. Sprinkle the green parts of the scallions, cilantro and spinach over the stew. Cover and let them wilt. Then immerse the greens into the stew and serve.




  1. Ooooh, those ingredients are lovely. And, I know what you mean about having a palate that changes. I used to HATE mint in savory things and would cringe at the sight of chick peas, but now those are two of my favorite things. Funny how we grow, isn’t it?

    • The big lesson for me in making this dish is to always be open to trying things, even if you think you don’t like them. I agree with you, it is funny how our tastes change. Thank you for stopping by and leaving your comment!

    • I don’t know how they could have missed you, Barb! If Chef Michael sees your blog now, he’ll be kicking himself!

      I’m so glad I gave this dish a try. I was reluctant to because of the Five Spice and how I can hardly wait to have it again!

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