Chinese star anise,is a spice that closely resembles anise in flavor, obtained from the star-shaped pericarp of Illicium verum, a small native evergreen tree of southwest China. The star shaped fruits are harvested just before ripening. It is widely used in Chinese cuisine, in Indian cuisine where it is a major component of garam masala, and in Malay/Indonesian cuisine. It is widely grown for commercial use in China, India, and most other countries in Asia. Star anise is an ingredient of the traditional five-spice powder of Chinese cooking. It is also one of the ingredients used to make the broth for the Vietnamese noodle soup. It is used as a spice in preparation of Biryani in Andhra Pradesh, a south Indian State.Star anise contains anethole, the same ingredient which gives the unrelated anise its flavor. Recently, star anise has come into use in the West as a less expensive substitute for anise in baking as well as in liquor production, most distinctively in the production of the liquor Galliano. It is also used in the production of Sambuca, pastis, and many types of absinthe.
Redcooked Beef with Star Anise
3/8 cup vegetable oil
3 lb boned leg (shin) f beef, cubed
3 pieces star anise
5/8 cup water
beef stock cube, crumbled
7 tbsp soy sauce
1 inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
2 tsp sugar
5/8 cup red wine
Preheat the oven to cool 150?Â¡?Â£C (Gas Mark 2, 300?Â¡?Â£F).
Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole. Add the beef cubes and fry until they are evenly browned. Remove from the heat and pour off all the excess oil.
Stir in the star anise, water, stock cube and 4 tbsps of soy sauce. Return the casserole to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly.
Transfer to the oven and cook for 1 hour, turning the meat once.
Remove from the oven and stir in the remaining ingredients. Return to the oven and cook for a further 2 hours, turning the meat every 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and serve at once. Preparation time:2-3 working days.