James Carrier
Makes 6 to 8 servings

Subtle Asian flavors like ginger, Chinese five spice, and soy sauce join short ribs and mushrooms in the slow cooker for an easy, fragrant beef stew. Serve this hearty, comforting beef dish over a bed of jasmine rice or mashed potatoes--you'll definitely want something to soak up the rich sauce. If you do not have port or cream sherry on hand, you can simply increase the amount of red wine by 1/2 cup as a substitute.

How to Make It

Step 1

Rinse meat; cut into 3- to 4-inch lengths (for chuck, about 1 in. thick and 1 1/2 in. wide) and place in a 5- to 6-quart slow-cooker.

Step 2

With a vegetable peeler, pare orange part of peel from orange and sliver it; save orange for other uses. In a 1 1/2- to 2-quart pan, combine peel, onion, 1 cup broth, wine, port, vinegar, soy sauce, thyme, ginger, and five spice. Bring to a boil over high heat. Pour liquid over meat. Turn slow-cooker to high, cover, and cook until meat is very tender when pierced, 5 to 6 hours.

Step 3

Rinse and drain mushrooms; trim off and discard stem ends. Cut mushrooms in half lengthwise and place in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan; add butter.

Step 4

Skim off and discard fat from liquid in slow-cooker. Ladle 1 cup liquid into pan with mushrooms. Stir mushrooms often over high heat until liquid has evaporated and mushrooms are lightly browned, 13 to 17 minutes.

Step 5

With a slotted spoon, lift meat from juices in slow-cooker and lay in a single layer in a shallow casserole (about 9 by 13 in.). Pour mushrooms over meat. Bake in a 375° regular or convection oven until meat is sizzling and browned, 12 to 15 minutes.

Step 6

Meanwhile, measure remaining liquid from slow-cooker. If less than 2 cups, add beef broth to make 2 cups, pour into a 2- to 3-quart pan, and bring to a boil over high heat; if there is more, pour into pan and boil, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 2 cups, 8 to 12 minutes. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch with 1/4 cup water. Pour into boiling liquid and stir until thickened, about 30 seconds. Pour evenly over meat and mix gently to blend with liquid in casserole, adding salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with chives.

Chef's Notes

Don't confuse beef short ribs with back ribs cut from the beef loin.

If you don't have a slow-cooker, put meat in a 2-inch-deep, 4- to 5-quart baking pan (about 9 by 13 in.); heat liquids and flavorings (step 2), pour over meat, and seal with foil. Bake in a 350° oven until meat is very tender when pierced, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. After 1 hour, check liquid and add water up to original level. Reseal pan with foil and return to oven; after 30 more minutes, check and adjust liquid level again. When meat is tender, continue with step 3; leave meat in pan, draining off liquid, or transfer to a casserole.

You can make this dish up to 2 days ahead; let cool, then cover and chill. Bake, covered, in a 350° oven until meat is hot, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve stew with hot cooked rice or mashed potatoes.

Ratings & Reviews

meadan's Review

September 02, 2014
This is over the top yummy. I made this exactly as directed, using organic chuck steak...trimmed of visible fat. I really wondered about all of the different flavours in this recipe but it did not disappoint. It turns out very rich and flavorful....the orange being the most noticeable flavour at least to my taste buds. I did have quite a bit of fat to skim off the top. This is a worthwhile endeavor however, because this dish is so rich, you really don't want extra fat in there. The surprise for me was how the mushrooms were cooked and the caramelization that occurred in the bottom of my cast iron skillet. I did not use a clean pan to thicken the sauce, I ended up with exactly 2 and 1/4 cups of liquid (after the 1 cup used in the mushrooms) and I thickened that in the bottom of my skillet thereby not losing any of the lovely dark sauce left from the mushrooms! I made this at home alone.....so......it was a test, it passed and I will certainly make this for guests!

NeoWang's Review

February 20, 2010
every good and easy! it smells so good while cooking. the beef is so tender. it is the first time I share my cooking with others, and everybody likes it! i don't do the last step to cook to mushroom. instead i finished the steps in slow cooker only. made my cooking easier.

sccook's Review

January 29, 2010
SO GOOD! Smelled wonderful while it was cooking. Very easy to throw together in the crock pot. However, the finishing steps were a little more complicated that the usual slow cooker recipe. Flavors were amazing - slightly Asian. I imagine you could leave out the orange and 5 spice powder for a completely different, but still great, flavor. Served with a big salad and french bread.

beanieb's Review

December 08, 2009
Excellent recipe. Worthy of a company dinner and not difficult to make. Everyone I've served this to has raved about it. Also, unusual combination of herbs and spices not usually associated with a beef and mushroom stew. I served it with basmati rice.

Dannigyelle's Review

February 22, 2014
I cooked this the other day for beef night at my house,the reviews was OUTSTANDING... I used ground chuck chunks and the favor was out the door I paired it with creamy garlic mashed potatoes and saute spinach. Keep this in mind that the Chinese 5 spice stinks like I don't know what! But it gives you that added favor that is needed in this wonderful recipe..I also paired it with a wonderful crusty bread and several glasses of a very good red wine..(Had a hard day at work) The night was truly beefy, for dessert I cooked my famous chunky chocolate peanut butter brownie cup cakes with pecan oreo crust yummy to our tummies

Gjbwill's Review

August 08, 2013
This was delicious! My husband had rave reviews, and even my picky eater liked it. Comparible to fine dining with little work.

aimhigh's Review

August 21, 2012

David45's Review

April 13, 2010
I followed the recipe 100%, even the orange peel and ginger. I can honestly say I was not disappointed. Maybe it could lose the orange peel, maybe not. The depth of flavor created following the recipe is just unbelievable. I won't say this will replace my beef stew favorite recipe but it will be something I will gladly serve guests, not just my family.

clancythecamper's Review

January 13, 2013
I would give it a "solid recipe" rating. It's good, I like the spice combination, makes a nice size portion for hearty appetites, and is relatively healthy. However, it is time consuming, If I were a better cook, or enjoyed cooking more, I'd probably be quite happy with it. I would make this only occasionally.

karaboo's Review

December 12, 2011
I thought this was really good and fairly easy and my guests liked it too. Use 1/2 short ribs and 1/2 chuck and the meat was tender and tasty. I would probably make this again, although not any time soon.