The vegetables come out so sweet and the meat is tasty and tender. This is the only way I will eat cabbage. I make this every St. Patrick's day. A sure winner.
I use a teaball to keep the spices together but you can put them in cheesecloth.
Trim fat from meat. Place the 5 spices in a teaball or cheesecloth. Fill 6 qt pot with water. Put in meat and spiceball. Add onions and bay leaf. Bring to boiling. Skim fat from surface. Reduce heat to a simmer, with cover ajar, for 1 hour and a half.
Add carrots to pot. Return to boiling another 45 minutes.
Add potatoes to pot. Return to boiling for 25 minutes.
Add cabbage to pot. Cover and cook about 20 minutes more until vegetables and meat are tender.
Discard bay leaf and spices. Remove meat from pot. Thinly slice meat across the grain. Transfer meat and vegetables to a serving platter.