Bò Kho

A rich spicy Vietnamese beef stew with scents of lemongrass, ginger, chilli, star anise, cinnamon and Chinese five spice. This stew is slow cooked for a minimum of three hours allowing the beef to fall apart and melt in the mouth.

Vietnamese eat this dish anytime of the day, including breakfast!

Serves 4-6

Marinate overnight, slow cook for 3 hours at 165°C – no fan

800g to 1kg gravy or shin beef cut into 3 cm cubes

1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp chicken/vegetable stock powder
1/2 tsp white pepper
2 1/2 tsp five spice powder
1 tsp chilli powder (1/2 tsp for mild)
4 cloves garlic minced (2 tsp minced garlic in jar)
1 tbsp grated ginger (fresh or minced ginger in jar)
1 tbsp nước mắm (fish sauce)
2 tsp soy sauce (select soy sauce not made with wheat if gluten intolerant)

1 tbsp ghee or oil
1 onion chopped
4 stalks lemongrass, slightly crushed and cut into 3 inch pieces, or 1 tbsp lemongrass from tube
3 star anise
2 cinnamon stick or cassia bark
1 fresh chilli chopped (optional)
3 tbsp tomato paste
400ml water with 3 tbs coconut cream powder OR 250ml water with 150ml coconut milk
1 large carrot peeled and diced
6 mushrooms quartered (or 2 large flat mushrooms chopped)
1/2 capsicum chopped
1/4 cup roughly chopped coriander
2 spring onions sliced

Mix together all marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Add beef pieces to marinade and coat well. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 165° C – conventional top and bottom heating mode

Heat an ovenproof pot on medium high heat with ghee/oil and brown onion.

Add lemongrass, star anise and cinnamon. Fry for a few minutes to release aroma. A “bouquet garni” can be created (using muslin cloth) with the star anise and cinnamon after frying to make it easier to remove at the end of cooking.

Increase heat before adding the beef.

Once beef is sealed add fresh chilli and tomato paste and simmer for a few minutes.

Add the coconut water and bring back up to simmer.

Cover pot and cook in oven for two hours.

Add the vegetables and cook for a further one hour.

Add the coriander and spring onions and stir through.

Serve with rice and french bread

Can also be served on rice noodles instead of rice – Pho Bò Kho – add extra water during cooking for extra liquid