Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Vietnamese Beef Stew

Stew equates comfort food. So I make a bowl of comfortable beefiness. This an alternate version of a classic with Vietnamese slant, as it has the spices of that region like fish sauce, star anise, cinnamon, lemongrass and palm sugar. Potatoes and carrots are the usual suspects. Lemon grass is once again the exception. 

Onions are cut two ways, finely minced and roughly chopped, one to give body to the sauce and one to add texture. Lots of garlic and ginger. Beef strips have been marinated in five spice powder, ginger and garlic and fish sauce. Tomato paste, more aromatics, lemongrass, cinnamon, star anise, potatoes and carrots give the stew a jolt. You could braise this slowly stove top, use a pressure cooker or InstantPot. All work. Give it a whirl.

Serves 4

1 lb boneless Beef, cut into small strips
1 teaspoon Five Spice Powder
1 tablespoon Fish Sauce
1 teaspoon Garlic Paste
1 teaspoon Ginger Paste
2 tablespoons Canola Oil
1 large Onion
2 Garlic cloves
2 large coins of Ginger
2 Green Chiles
1 Lemongrass
1/2 Star Anise
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
1/2 teaspoon Palm Sugar or Brown Sugar
3/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon ground Black Pepper
2 Potatoes
2 Carrots
Cilantro leaves
Mint leaves
Hot cooked Rice

Place beef strips in a bowl.

Add five spice powder, ginger garlic paste and fish sauce to beef. Mix well and marinate for 3-4 hours.

Peel onion. Chop half the onion finely. Cut the other half in large chunks.

Mince ginger and garlic. 

Peel outer layers of lemongrass. Cut into 2 inch pieces. Smash them slightly with the back of your knife.

Cut green chile into small pieces.

Peel potatoes and cut into small chunks.

Wash carrots and cut into chunks.

Heat oil in the pan you plan to use. I braised the stew stove top.

Add meat to hot oil and saute till brown.

Add onion, ginger and garlic to beef. Saute for a few minutes till onions are translucent.

Add tomato paste, star anise, cinnamon, green chiles, lemongrass, palm sugar, salt and pepper.

Add potatoes and carrots to saucepan. Stir well.

Add enough water to cover the meat and potatoes.

Bring to a boil, then cover loosely and braise for 30 minutes. 

Garnish with cilantro and mint leaves and serve with rice.

Poured over rice, the stew is a meal in one. Satisfying, comforting...a big warm hug for my belly.

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