I may have already posted this, but in response to jhinwa's search for things to use recently-scored star anise mentioned on another thread, here is a delicious and very easy recipe for braised beef, based on a recipe in Fuchsia Dunlop's "Land of Plenty":
This is the easiest Chinese dish I know.
3 lb chuck with most of the fat cut off, in 2" cubes
6 tb Sichuan hot bean sauce ("la dou ban jiang", I like Kimlan brand but any one will do)
2 (or more) scallions, trimmed, whole
1 2" piece of ginger, smashed with a cleaver or just sliced in 2 longitudinally
1 tsp whole Sichuan peppercorns
1 star anise
2 tsp dark soy
1/4 c rice wine, dry Sherry, or Scotch
1 qt beef stock (I used water + 2 Knorr beef cubes)
She has you blanch the beef in boiling water, I don't bother.
Heat the bean paste until sizzling (she says to add additional oil, no need).
Add all the other stuff, stir up, bring to a simmer.
Bang it in the oven at around 325-350 deg F.
Let cook for about 3 hours (longer doesn't hurt, but reduce temp at the 3 hour point, to 300 or less).
The meat should be as soft as marrow when done.
Delicious as is, also delicious heated up and on noodles.
Can add chestnuts, daikon radish, that sort of thing at the midway point.
What other lovely dishes do you use it in?