5 servings (serving size: 2/3 cup beef mixture, about 3 tablespoons sauce, and 1/2 cup rice)

Here whole cinnamon, anise, cloves, and peppercorns subtly flavor a slow-cooked stew of beef and dried Chinese black mushrooms. Use brisket, chuck, or blade steak for this hearty, melt-in-your-mouth dish. Remove the hard stems from the mushrooms and use just the mushroom caps.

How to Make It

Step 1

Combine boiling water and mushrooms. Cover and let stand 30 minutes. Remove mushrooms with a slotted spoon. Chop mushrooms; set aside. Strain soaking liquid through a cheesecloth- or paper towel-lined sieve into a bowl. Discard solids; reserve 1 cup soaking liquid.

Step 2

Heat a large Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add beef; cook 8 minutes on all sides or until browned. Add 3/4 cup onion, ginger, and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in reserved soaking liquid, 1 1/4 cups water, and next 9 ingredients (1 1/4 cups water through cinnamon); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour. Stir in mushrooms. Cover and simmer 40 minutes or until beef is tender. Remove beef mixture with a slotted spoon. Discard star anise, cloves, dried chiles, and cinnamon stick. Bring remaining liquid to a boil; cook 3 minutes or until reduced to 1 cup. Stir in 3/4 cup onion and oil. Serve beef mixture over rice with sauce.

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