Vietnamese Beef Stew
Vietnamese beef stew is one of those comforting dishes that we love on weekend mornings when we’re in no particular rush. For many Vietnamese, bo kho is ultimate breakfast food. Not milk or cereal, not even fancy preparations of eggs, delicious as they may be can compare to the aroma of all the fragrant spices in bo kho. Really, you can’t compare waking up to the lingering scents of lemongrass, ginger, chili, star anise, cinnamon, cloves and fresh basil.
- 2 lbs beef shank, cut into 1.5 inch cubes
- ½ knob of ginger, thinly sliced
- 2 beef tendon strips or about ½ lb
- 1 stalk of lemongrass (white end bruised and slice into 4-5 inch stalk and tie together)
- 2 bay leaves
- 3-4 star anise seeds, (toasted optional)
- 32 oz of beef broth
- 4 medium sized carrots
- 2 tbs annato seed oil (see cooks note)
- 1 tablespoon diced shallots
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon minced lemongrass
- ½ tablespoon fish sauce
- ½ tablespoon red chili powder
- ¼ tablespoon cinnamon
- ¼ tablespoon clove powder
- ¼ tablespoon anise powder
- 1 tablespoon ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Toasted French baguettes
- Fresh Basil
- Pickled Onions
- Lime/lemon wedges
- Diced cilantro and green onions
- Sliced jalapenos
- Rice noodles
In large mixing bowl, combine the beef shank with the spice marinade for at least 2 hours.
Saute the beef with 1 tbs of annato seed oil until browned and seared under medium high heat. Transfer this into the slow cooker. Add the beef tendons, stalk of lemongrass, star anise seeds, bay leaves, and beef broth. You may need to add more broth or water to just cover and submerge the beef.
Set slow cooker to lowest possible setting and allow to cook covered for overnight or about 8 hours. About 1 hour before it’s done, add the carrots. Just before serving add another 1 tbs of annato seed oil to the broth for a great red color. Make final adjustment and season to taste.
You can also boil the tendon separately ahead of time on constant high boil for about 2 hours or until tender, then cut and add to the bo kho just before it’s done.
If you don’t have a slow cooker, simmer in big covered pot until beef is tender about 4 hrs.
To make annatto seed oil, heat 2 tbs of olive with 1/2 of annato seeds. The oil will be steeped with a red color. Do not allow oil to boil, when the color is steeped red, turn off heat and drain the seeds.