1 tbsp Szechuan peppercorns
4 whole star anise
2 tsp Chinese five-spice
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
5cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 tbsp sesame oil
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine or dry sherry
1.5kg rump steak, cut into 3cm cubes
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 red chillies, thinly sliced into rings
1.5 litres beef stock
300g thin egg noodles
450g selection prepared Asian vegetables, such as baby pak choy, baby buk choy, Chinese broccoli and choy sum (cut into 4cm pieces on the diagonal)
1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 large carrot, grated
Good handful fresh coriander leaves
Toast the Szechuan peppercorns and star anise in a fry frying pan over a medium heat until they smell aromatic. Remove from the heat and tip into a large non-metallic bowl.
Add the Chinese five-spice, garlic and ginger to the bowl with the whole spices and then stir in the sesame oil, soy sauce and Chinese cooking wine or dry sherry. Add the rump steak and mix until evenly coated. Cover with clingfilm and chill for at least 4 hours but overnight is best.
When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 160ºC. Heat a little of the oil in a large flameproof casserole. Drain the marinade from the meat, reserving the marinade. Add the pieces of beef to the pan in batches and sauté for a couple of minutes until nicely browned. Transfer to a plate.
Add a little more oil to the casserole and sauté the onion and chillies for about 4 minutes until softened. Pour in the beef stock and bring to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the casserole with a wooden spoon to remove any sediment. Return the beef to the casserole with any remaining marinade and give it a good stir, then cover with a lid. Transfer to the oven and cook for 1 1/2 -2 hours until the beef is meltingly tender but still holding its shape.
Once the beef is cooked transfer the casserole back on to the hob and add the noodles. Simmer for a couple of minutes until almost tender. Add the Asian vegetables and simmer for another minute or two until the vegetables have just started to wilt but are still tender.
Ladle the beef into large deep bowls with the vegetables and scatter over the spring onions, grated carrot and coriander to serve. Serves 6-8