Chinese spare ribs with sesame seeds and green onion
The Warm Spice That Gives Beef An Even Meatier Taste
Star anise is a warm spice with a sweet licorice flavor. When cooked with an allium like an onion, it releases a sulfur compound that accentuates any meat’s savory flavor.
To try this spice upgrade on your next beef dish, consider grating half a star anise and sautéing it with one thinly sliced onion before adding it to a recipe.
You’ll want to caramelize the onion slices in oil or butter to take out the bite of the raw onion, but otherwise, you don’t need to do much else to upgrade your beef dishes.
Be sparing with how much star anise you use, as the spice can overpower the other flavors and even numb your tongue. Start conservatively with your amount and then taste as you go.
Anise is used in many Asian beef dishes, so they are a great place to start. Chinese spare ribs, Indian vindaloo, and Vietnamese beef stew all welcome the anise and onion combo.
Other miscellaneous beef dishes will work with star anise as well, like a long-simmering braised beef shank, slow-roasted osso buco, or even an all-purpose beef stir-fry.