Preheat the oven to 150°C / gas mark 2. Quarter and peel the onions, peel and roughly slice the ginger, peel the garlic cloves, and put all these into the processor with the coriander.
Blitz until finely chopped, then heat the oil in a large casserole and fry this mixture gently, until soft and beginning to catch in the pan; this should take about ten minutes, over a medium heat and with regular stirring.
Pour in the Chinese wine (or sherry) and let it bubble up. Add the soy sauce, brown sugar, stock, oyster sauce and vinegar. Bring to a boil, then drop in the cinnamon sticks and star anise.
Add the pieces of shin and let everything come up to a bubble again, then clamp on a lid and put into the oven for two hours (regular stewing steak may take longer).
Take the casserole carefully out of the oven and, using a slotted spatula, remove the beef to an ovenproof dish, cover with foil and keep warm in the oven, while you vigorously boil the sauce in the casserole on the hob, without a lid, until it has reduced by about half.
Arrange the beef on a serving platter and pour the reduced sauce over the meat, then, if desired, dress the top with a hot and sour shredded salad. If you are using cubes of stewing steak, rather than slices of shin, you'd probably do better to use a deeper dish.
Make ahead note:
Cook the beef for 1 3/4 hours then transfer to a bowl to cool. Cover, refrigerate and store in fridge for up to two days. When ready to use, return the beef to casserole dish and heat gently until sauce is just boiling. Cover and return to oven for 30 minutes, or until the beef is piping hot. Transfer meat to an ovenproof dish and finish sauce as directed.
Cook and cool as above then freeze for up to 3 months in airtight container. Defrost overnight in fridge and reheat and finish as above.
Recipe from Nigella: Kitchen by Nigella Lawson (published by Chatto & Windus).