Star anise is a dark-brown pod with a distinctive licorice flavor similar to that of regular aniseeds.
1 pound beef stew meat
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 (12-ounce) bottle dark beer
2 thin gingerroot slices
2 green onions
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
2 star anise pods (optional)
2 cups sliced carrot
2 cups sliced leek (about 2 medium)
6 cups hot cooked couscous
How to Make It
Trim fat from meat; cut meat into 3/4-inch cubes, and sprinkle with pepper. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add meat, and cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Add soy sauce and next 4 ingredients (soy sauce through cinnamon); stir in star anise, if desired, and bring to a boil. Cover meat mixture, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour.
Add carrot and leek; cook, uncovered, an additional 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Discard gingerroot, green onions, cinnamon, and star anise. Serve over couscous.
We made this following the recipe closely and included the star anise. It was very good and unusual. The flavor was almost vinegary. Served with Israeli couscous and broccoli. A good change of pace. Will make again but perhaps with another slice of ginger.
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