Delicious Vietnam finale – Bò Kho or Vietnamese beef stew

Final edition of Delicious Vietnam that is created by lovely Melbourne food blogger, Anh. I had to participate even though I have been so lazy this holiday season. Very unproductive but loving every second of it. Mister asked if I was bored not going anyway this year but I said ‘No’. I am happy being alone at home while he heads back to work this week. Plus I had loads to do. Packing, cleaning the house, playing The Sims, watching House, Grey Anatomy and cooking! To top that up, the very lovely Li, Robert and their kids were in town for a very short visit. So good to see familiar faces in Sydney. We really miss our friends in Melbourne.

I had Bò Kho a few times in Melbourne and always loved it. I thought I tried to make this for the last edition of Delicious Vietnam. It is very easy and totally a one pot wonder which is great for us. You can simmer it in a pot, cook it in a crock pot or even use the pressure cooker. I first found this recipe from The Ravenous Couple but adapted it as I did not have all the ingredients at hand.

And then I asked twitter for help and @stickifingers gave me a really good tip and cheat recipe.


We bought our meat from Establishment 218. This was a meat retail place that was recommended by my colleague and is located in Alexandria. This place is crazy! All the meat is in a mega cold room. We had to wear a thick jacket before entering the cold room. The space is massive and everything is sold in bulk. It will be great for big families or if you are having a big BBQ party. We bought some a slab of stewing beef, paid for it and then a butcher cut in into chunks for us. I also spied whole lambs hanging in the back cold room. Crazy place but worth it if you are buying in bulk. I still have half of the beef chunks in the freezer.

Establishment 218

Establishment 218

Back to the recipe, I used whatever I had in my already bulging pantry. So this is not authentic at all. Will do another version with the other half of the beef chunks.

Aromatics

Aromatics

Ingredients:

  • 1kg of stewing beef (or even better, use oxtails with it)
  • 1 knob of ginger, sliced
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass and bruise white end
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 star anise seeds
  • 750ml of beef broth
  • 4 medium sized carrots
  • 6 medium size tomatoes
  • 2tbsp of tomato paste
  • 2 large potatoes
Marinade for the beef:
  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  • 1 tbs paprika
  • 1/2 tbs fish sauce
  • 1 tbs red chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp clove powder
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar

Method:

  1. In large mixing bowl, combine the beef shank the spice marinade for at least 2 hours or overnight. Make the beef stock with bones, garlic and carrots and whatever scraps you have
  2. Saute the beef until browned and seared under medium high heat. Transfer this into pressure cooker. Add the talk of lemonsgrass, star anise seeds, tomatoes, tomato paste, potatoes and beef broth. You may need to add more broth or water to just cover and submerge the beef. (Do the same for crock pot)
  3. The pressure cooker took about 45mins and everything was ready. If using the crock pot, set it to the  lowest possible setting and allow to cook covered for overnight or about 8 hours.
  4. Season when it is ready

Thanks Anh, you have been a great host. I shall be looking forward to a new event, I hope :)

Bo Kho

Bo Kho

Here is a list of all the Delicious Vietnam dishes that I have made or eaten: