Bo Kho is a Vietnamese beef stew. Families often prepare this dish on weekends. They consider it as a comfort food and it is best eaten the next day and even the day after that.
1 lb. ox tails or short ribs
1 lb. beef stew meat
1/2 cup flour
1Â stalkÂ lemongrass, cut into 2 inch pieces
3Â tablespoonsÂ fish sauce
1 1/2Â teaspoonsÂ Chinese five spice powder
1 1/2Â teaspoonsÂ brown sugar
2 1/2Â tablespoonsÂ mincedÂ ginger
1Â bay leaf
2 tablespoons annatto seeds
5Â tablespoonsÂ vegetable oil
1Â mediumÂ onion, chopped
2Â cupsÂ choppedÂ fresh tomatoesÂ orÂ 1Â (14 ounce)Â canÂ crushed tomatoes
1/2Â teaspoonÂ salt
1Â lb.Â carrot, peeled,cut into 1 inch chunks
2Â star anise
3Â cupsÂ water
In a bowl, combine the fish sauce, five-spice powder, ginger, bay leaf, lemongrass and sugar. Marinate the beef for at least 30 minutes.
In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil under high heat. Add the annatto seeds and cook it for 3-5 minutes or until the seeds release their color. Stir until the oil is red. Remove the seeds and discard.
Dredge the beef with flour. Fry them in oil in batches until they are brown. Transfer the beef to a plate and reserve the lemongrass and bay leaf.
Reduce the heat and add the remaining oil; sautÃ© the onions for 5 minutes or until they are translucent. Stir in the tomatoes. Cover and cook for another 5-10 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft. If the sauce is too thick, you may add water.
Place the beef, lemongrass, bay leaf and star anise in the pot. Cook it for another 5 minutes. Add water and bring it to a boil. After, reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour. When the beef is almost done, add the carrots. Let it simmer for another 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the meat and carrots are tender. Remove the lemongrass, bay leaf and star anise; discard them. Add more fish sauce to taste if desired.
Garnish with basil and cilantro before serving. Serve warm with rice or French bread.
Photo Courtesy Of: Jason Hutchens