Vietnamese Beef Stew – Bò Kho

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Vietnamese Beef Stew - Bò Kho
  1. Make the Annatto Seed Oil. In a small pan over medium heat add in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add in the Annatto Seeds and stir the annatto seeds around the pan until the seeds have bled. It should only take about a minute. Do not cook the seeds for too long as it will burn and will turn bitter.
  2. Strain into a bowl. Discard the seeds and reserve the oil. Set aside.
  3. Cut the beef into bite size pieces. Marinate the beef with 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon bo kho powder, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, 2 tablespoons fish sauce and 1/2 tablespoon annatto seed oil. Cover and refrigerate overnight or minimum one to two hours.
  4. Saute the tomatoes. In a pan over medium heat add in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Toss in the tomatoe wedges and add in 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  5. Cook the tomatoes for about 5 minutes or until they are slightly soft. Set aside.
  6. Cook the beef. In a wok on medium-high heat add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Once the pan is warm add in ginger, garlic and lemongrass. Saute for 1 minute.
  7. Toss in the cinnamon stick, star anise and bay leaves. Saute for 1 minute.
  8. Add the beef to the wok .
  9. Saute the beef for about 5 minutes or until browned. Set aside.
  10. Pour 30 cups of water into a large soup pot. Add in 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 cup of fish sauce, 3 tablespoons of the Totole Chicken Soup Base Mix. Bring to a boil.
  11. Then add in the cooked beef.
  12. Also add in the slightly cooked tomatoes.
  13. Add in the remaining bo kho powder.
  14. Add in the remaining Annattto Seed Oil
  15. And lastly add in the entire can of tomato paste.
  16. Bring the stew back to a boil and remove any scum from the top of the soup.
  17. Cover and reduce the heat. Simmer for 2 hours and 15 minutes.
  18. Then add in the carrots and bring the stew back to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and continue to simmer for another 45 minutes.
  19. Turn off the heat once the meat is tender. Before serving be sure to fish out the cinnamon stick, lemongrass stalks, star anise pods, and bay leaves.
  20. Ladle the beef stew over some cooked pho noodles or serve with french baguettes.
  21. Garnish with some thinly sliced yellow onions, chopped green onions, chopped cilantro, fresh thai basils, a sprinkle of black pepper and some chopped Thai chilis ( optional ).
  22. Add beansprouts only if you are eating the beef stew with the pho noodles. Omit the beansprouts if serving with french baguettes. Also serve with some lime wedges on the side.
  23. Make a dip for the beef. Squeeze a wedge or two of lime into a small bowl. Then add a pinch of salt and black pepper. Stir to combine.
  24. Enjoy your bowl of Bo Kho !