First stage is to sear the meat in a hot pan. Get a casserole dish with a heavy bottom (important to ensure we don't burn the meat) and put on a medium high heat. It should be hot but not so much that you can easily burn meat.
Add some oil to the pan after heating for around 30 seconds. The oil should fully coat the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking.
Immediately after adding oil, add the beef ribs. Place them face down on the meat side (not the bone side). Make sure they are not on top of each other and they are fully touching the bottom of the pan. Sear in batches if needs be.
Sear on three sides - the top, and each side of the rib. No need to sear the bottom of the bone. Remove from the pan when each side has a nice golden sear. Place in a bowl and keep to the side.NOTE - Don't worry if they stick to the pan, use tongs to wiggle them free. If they don't come off, it means they are not ready. Leave them for another minute or so until done - turn down the heat if you feel it's burning. Don't worry if there are bits stuck to the pan when you pry them free, this is what we want! Flavour. Remove any black charred bits on the bottom of the pan as these are bitter. Add the onions and star anise to the pan now. Turn the heat down to a medium - low heat and stir well. Now we want to 'sweat' the vegetables - this means to remove their liquid and allow them to go soft. Cook for about 5 minutes. Scrape the bottom of the pan until all the sticky brown bits come up too. If they don't all come off, wait until the wine reduction step.NOTE - Don't allow the onion to brown otherwise it will add a slight bitter flavour profile.
Next add the celery, carrot and mushrooms and sweat down for around 10 minutes or until nice and soft. Stir well.
Remove the star anise (best to use a whole one so it's easier to remove) and add the red wine. Turn the heat up to high and reduce down until thick and syrupy or almost evaporated.
Next add tomato purée and marmite. Stir well. Cook for 1 minute on a medium low heat.
Add the beef ribs back now. Stir well and coat them in the vegetable mix.
Add the stock to the pot now - remember, use proper stock or this recipe will not work towards the end (i.e. thickening). Ensure the ribs are submerged - add a splash of water if you need. Bring the stock to the boil on the hob. Stir well to ensure the vegetables are not stuck to the bottom.