Vietnamese Beef Stew (Bo Kho)

Another Adam Liaw recipe – this is a great alternative to your everyday stew. I think this will be great using Lamb as well.  Next time I will pop this into a slow cooker at the simmer stage.
  • 1.5kg chuck steak, cut into 4 cm cubesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 3 thick slices ginger
  • 1 brown onion , peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and bruised
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 litres low-salt beef stock
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • Lime wedges to serve
  • Red onion rings to serve
  • a handful of coriander leaves to serve
  • a handful of a basil leave to serves
  • French style baguette to serve
Toss the beef in the flour and paprika and season with a little salt.  Heat the oil in a heavy casserole dish and fry the beef over medium heat (in batches if necessary) until it is well browned.  Add the tomato paste, ginger, onion and garlic and stir for 2-3 minutes or until  the onion is translucent.  Add the five spice powder, curry powder, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, lemongrass and bay leaves and stir to combine.  Pour in enough beef stock to cover the meat completely, add the fish sauce and salt and bring to a simmer.  Simmer uncovered for about 1 1/2 hours (skimming the top at regular intervals to remove any scum), or until the beef is just tender.
Add the potatoes and carrots and simmer for another 15 minutes or until the vegetables soften.  
Allow to stand 15 minutes before serving.
Adjust the seasoning with salt or fish sauce, serve with lime wedges, thinly sliced red onions, coriander and basil leaves and pieces of baguette to dip into the rich sauce.



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