Vietnamese Braised Beef Stew (Bo Kho)

Vietnamese Braised Beef Stew (Bo Kho)

Bo kho is a delicious Vietnamese pot-roasted beef stew. It is not so different from a traditional French pot au feu, but it is spiced in a traditional Vietnamese manner, fragrant with lemongrass, star anise and cinnamon. When the meat is fork tender, carrots are added to complete the dish. If you wish, include turnips or daikon radish or potatoes. Serve it with rice, rice noodles or a freshly baked baguette.

Ingredients

For the marinade:

  • 2 tablespoons Vietnamese fish sauce, such as Red Boat
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese 5-spice powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

For the braise:

  • 3 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 large shallots or 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chopped tomato, fresh or canned
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (from a 2-inch piece)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped lemongrass, tender center only
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon annatto powder (optional)
  • 4 star anise pods
  • 1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick, or substitute cassia bark
  • 1 or 2 Serrano or Thai chiles, stem on, split lengthwise
  • 1 ½ pounds medium carrots, peeled, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • ½ cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1 cup cilantro sprigs, for garnish
  • ½ cup mint leaves, for garnish
  • ½ cup small basil leaves, preferably Thai, for garnish
  • Nutritional Information
      • Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)

        460 calories; 16 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 9 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 28 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams dietary fiber; 13 grams sugars; 52 grams protein; 142 milligrams cholesterol; 1051 milligrams sodium

    Note: The information shown is DiningAndCooking.com’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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Preparation

  1. Make the marinade: Stir together fish sauce, sugar, ginger, 5-spice powder and pepper.
  2. Put beef in a large bowl, add marinade and massage into meat. Let marinate for at least 15 minutes, or longer if time permits (may be wrapped and refrigerated overnight if desired).
  3. Put oil in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, fry the beef cubes in small batches, taking care not to crowd them, until nicely browned. When all beef is browned, return chunks to pot. Add shallots, stir to combine and continue cooking for 4 to 5 minutes, or until softened.
  4. Add tomato, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, salt and annatto, if using, and stir well to coat, then add star anise, cinnamon and chile. Cover with 4 cups water and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover with lid ajar and cook for about 1 hour 15 minutes, or until fork-tender.
  6. Add carrots to pot and cook 15 minutes more. Skim fat from surface of broth as necessary (or refrigerate overnight and remove congealed fat before reheating).
  7. To serve, ladle into individual bowls. Garnish with scallions, cilantro, mint and basil.

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