I pretty much followed the BBC Good Food's recipe Chinese-style Braised Beef One Pot and infact had to cook it in the oven as I left too little time to stew it in the slow cooker. I will try it another time in the slow cooker but would leave it on High for 6-8 hours to melt the sinewy beef.
I also prepared Bok Choy in Oyster Sauce, rather than the plain steamed bok choy BBC Good Food suggested. Broccoli, cabbage, kale, spring greens etc could also be prepared in this way to liven them up a little.
My annotated recipe is below, for when I need to repeat it
3-4 tbsp olive oil (I used sunflower)
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Good thumb-size piece of fresh root ginger, peeled & shredded (I never peel ginger, just chop it finely or grate it)
1 bunch spring onions, sliced (I didn't have spring onions so sent my son out to find as many wild chives as he could in the local park)
1 red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced (Didn't have a fresh one so added 1/4 tsp of hot chilli flakes)
1½ kg braising beef (I used diced shin of beef . I only bought 1kg based on 200g per person and this was plenty for a family of 5)
2 tbsp plain flour, well seasoned
1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
2 star anise (optional)
2 tsp light muscovado sugar (Used sweet soy Kecap Manis so did not add any extra sugar)
3 tbsp Chinese cooking wine or dry sherry
3 tbsp dark soy sauce, plus more to serve
500ml beef stock (1 beef stock cube dissolved into 500ml boiling water)
Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large, shallow casserole. Fry the garlic, ginger, onions and chilli for 3 mins until soft and fragrant. Tip onto a plate. Toss the beef in the flour, add 1 tbsp more oil to the pan, then brown the meat in batches, adding the final tbsp oil if you need to. It should take about 5 mins to brown each batch properly.
Add the five-spice and star anise (if using) to the pan, tip in the gingery mix, then fry for 1 min until the spices are fragrant. Add the sugar, then the beef and stir until combined. Keep the heat high, then splash in the wine or sherry, scraping up any meaty bits. Heat oven to 150C/fan 130C/gas 2.
Pour in the soy and stock (it won’t cover the meat completely), bring to a simmer, then tightly cover, transfer to the oven and cook for 1½-2 hrs, stirring the meat halfway through. The meat should be very soft, and any sinewy bits should have melted away. Season with more soy. This can now be chilled and frozen for up to 1 month.
I would add the stew to the slow cooker at the stage it is added to the oven above. I'll update this when I have put my words into practise!