Let your pot of stew be a vehicle to transport you around the world of flavourful seasonings. Case in point, this Ginger Orange Beef Stew with Chinese Five Spice.
Ginger Orange Beef Stew with Chinese Five Spice
One day, waaayyyy back in 2013, 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, Orange Ginger Beef, 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 was a great way to explore a flavour profile new to me.
I’d only used this spice blend once, years before, 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’d 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. Of course, I’d have to double the recipe for that. As written here, this Ginger Orange Beef Stew makes two servings, which is ideal for those of us in smaller households, especially during times of social distancing.
Let’s Get Cooking
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.
- 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 baby spinach (often the size of one bag)
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.
Shall We Continue Our Stew Travels?
The combination of meat, broth and vegetables can take you on culinary travels around the globe, depending on which flavour profiles you choose. Try Beef Stew with Red Wine for a nod to France, and explore flavours common to Middle Eastern cooking in this Middle-Eastern Inspired Beef Stew. And Italian Pork Stew puts me in mind of one my favourite cuisines.
First Published 2013 11 18
Republished 2021 02 17