Five-Spice Beef Shin


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Balance and Harmony

By Neil Perry

Published 2008

  • About

This is really easy and delicious. You can make it in advance and reheat it when you’re ready to serve, but it’s also great cold with some pickled cabbage and fried wontons.


  • 800 g (1 lb 12 oz) beef shin on the bone
  • 200 g (7 oz) soft brown sugar
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) shaoxing
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 large knob of ginger, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 star anise
  • ½ teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) light soy sauce
  • 1 large handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves


Put the brown sugar, shaoxing, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, star anise, Sichuan peppercorns and sea salt along with 2 litres (8 cups) water in a large pot. Cover and bring to the boil over high heat. Add the soy sauce and return to the boil. Lower the heat, add the beef and simmer, covered, for about 4 hours, or until very tender. Remove from the heat and allow the beef to cool to room temperature in the liquid.

Shred the meat off the bone and put in a serving bowl. Strain the stock through a fine sieve and discard the solids. Reheat about 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) of the stock and pour over the beef. Sprinkle with coriander leaves to serve.