Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 2 hrs 30 mins
Ingredients needed to make Bo Kho:
- 2 lb boneless beef chuck, trimmed and diced
- 2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
- 1 lb carrot, peeled and chopped into 1’’ pieces
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 lemongrass stalk, chopped into 2’’ pieces and bruised
- 2 ½ tbsp ginger, minced
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 ½ tsp Chinese five spice powder
- 2 star anise
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 ½ tsp brown sugar
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- ½ tsp salt
- Few Thai basil sprigs, leaved picked
- Few fresh cilantro sprigs, leaves picked
Cooking instructions for Bo Kho:
- Place the lemongrass chunks, ginger, bay leaf, brown sugar and fish sauce in a large bowl and stir them well together along with a dash of five spice powder until well combined.
- Dump the beef chunks into the bowl and give it a nice stir to coat well with the marinade; let it rest for half an hour to marinate.
- Meanwhile, drizzle oil in a heavy-based large pot and heat it over high flame until it shimmers.
- Throw in the marinated beef chunks and brown them for a couple of minutes.
- Drain them out into a bowl and set the bay leaf and lemongrass aside for future use.
- Toss the chopped onion into it and sauté them over moderate heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until they turn translucent.
- Stir in the tomatoes and place a lid on top before cooking the mixture for the next 15 minutes.
- Add a splash of water if the sauce tends to turn thicker and return the meat back into the pot.
- Drop in the star anise, lemongrass and bay leaf and stir them all together to mix well.
- Continue to simmer the stew, uncovered for about 5-7 minutes and pour in the measured water.
- Continue to heat the stew until it starts boiling and reduce it to a simmer.
- Cook likewise for about 1 hour 15 mins and throw in the carrot chunks.
- Simmer further for 45 more minutes or until the beef and veggies are cooked through.
- Discard the star anise, bay leaf as well as lemongrass and pour the stew into a large bowl.
- Sprinkle the herb sprigs on top and serve alongside steamed rice.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons