1 cup dried mushrooms
2 lb stew beef (chuck, bottom round, etc.), cut into large chunks
2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
2 Tbsp oil (olive, rice bran, vegetable, etc.)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1-inch chunk of peeled ginger root
1 medium red onion, diced
4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup oyster-flavored sauce
2 tsp rice vinegar
14-oz bag frozen pearl onions, defrosted
3 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp Sriracha, or more to taste
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
Place the dried mushrooms in a 2-cup glass measuring cup, and fill the cup with water. Microwave for 3 minutes. Remove, and set aside.
Dry the chunks of beef with paper towels. Add the flour to a large mixing bowl.
Heat the oil in a nonstick frying pan (or in a slow cooker with a stovetop insert, or a Ninja cooker). Dredge the beef in the flour, shake off the excess, and brown the beef in the oil, in as many batches as necessary so the pan is not overcrowded.
When all of the beef is browned, add it to the insert of a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker. Stir in the garlic, ginger, onion, carrots, soy sauce, oyster sauce and rice vinegar. Drain the mushroom soaking liquid through a fine-mesh strainer, and add the liquid only to the slow cooker. (Save the reconstituted mushrooms for another use; you can freeze them, or chop and add to soup.)
Cover and cook on LOW for 4 hours.
Then, stir in the onions, honey and Sriracha. Cook on LOW for 1-1/2 hours.
Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the beef and vegetables from the slow cooker into a large bowl. Pour the remaining sauce into a small saucepan. Reduce the sauce on the stovetop, over medium-high heat, for 10 minutes or until reduced by half. The sauce should be thicker, with a bit of sheen from the honey.
Pour the reduced sauce over the meat and vegetables, and stir to combine. Serve hot, with rice or noodles. Or, let cool completely and refrigerate or freeze.