Slow Cooked Chinese Five Spiced Beef

    6 hours 10 minutes

    An amalgamation of various slow cooked Asian beef recipes that is quickly becoming a family favourite! It looks like a lot of ingredients but it's actually quite easy and simple to make. I use a 5.5L slow cooker for this recipe and it serves 8-12 depending on portion sizes and accompaniments. It's great paired with steamed rice and fresh cucumber pickle/relish/salad or sautéed Asian greens.


    Queensland, Australia
    9 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
    • 2kg chuck steak, chopped into large pieces. Other slow cook cuts such as shin or brisket are also fine.
    • 2 large brown onions, sliced into thick wedges
    • 500ml beef stock
    • 50g dried shiitake mushrooms
    • Peel from 1 orange
    • 2 large red chillis (sliced into rounds and washed to remove most seeds)
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 6 whole star anise
    • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns (you can also use sichaun peppercorns if preferred)
    • 1 tablespoon chinese five spice powder
    • 1/2 cup kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
    • 1/2 cup salt reduced dark soy sauce
    • 1/2 cup honey (or dark brown sugar if preferred)
    • 1/2 cup mirin
    • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
    • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced ginger
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic

    Preparation:10min  ›  Cook:6hours  ›  Ready in:6hours10min 

    1. Heat the peanut oil in a large frypan over high heat until hot, and quickly sear beef in batches until just browned on the outside. Set aside in a large bowl.
    2. Deglaze the frypan with the beef stock then remove from heat and add the dried shiitake mushrooms. Allow mushrooms to steep for a few minutes.
    3. In a large slow cooker (I use a 5.5L one) add the sliced onions, orange peel, sliced chillis, cinnamon stick, star anise and peppercorns at the base. Pour the beef stock and shiitake mushrooms into the slow cooker.
    4. In a separate bowl, combine the kecap manis, dark soy sauce, honey, mirin, rice wine vinegar, oyster sauce, ginger, garlic and chinese five spice. Whisk with a fork until smooth.
    5. Add the beef to the slow cooker then pour the combined sauce mix over the beef. Cover top with baking paper (optional) then put the lid on the slow cooker.
    6. Slow cook on low for approximately 6 hours (this will depend on your slow cooker and the type and size of your beef - smaller leaner cuts will typically take 5 hours, larger fattier cuts can take up to 8 hours, but again it depends on your slow cooker - it's fine to start checking the beef from the 4 hour mark and it's done once it starts falling apart).
    7. Once the beef is cooked remove it from the slow cooker and set aside, then strain the sauce. Add the onions, shiitakes, chillis to the beef, but discard the peel, cinnamon, anise (leaving the peppercorns is ok either way). Reduce the sauce by half (or to desired consistency) before pouring back over the beef to serve (reducing the sauce can take some time, so you may need to return the beef and sauce to the slow cooker or a pot on the stove to reheat before serving).
    8. Serve with rice and either picked cucumber salad or sautéed Asian greens.


    You can cook this covered on the stove or in a casserole dish in the oven if you don't have a slow cooker, but need to adjust the cooking times accordingly.

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