Braised Beef with Lemongrass
- 2 star anise
- 3 tbs vegetable oil
- 1 tbs of annatto seeds (sold as a bag in Asian grocery stores)
- 450 g (1lb) braised beef, cut into cubes of 4 cm
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 pinch ground peppercorns
- 2 CASES sugar
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 750 ml (3t) chicken broth
- 2 rods of lemongrass, crushed with the side of a knife and cut into sections of plus or minus 2 cm
- ½ onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tbs fish sauce
- 1 tbs soy sauce
- 2 tbs of Vietnamese curry powder
- 2 tsp of sambal oelek
- 2 carrots, peeled, cut into slices of 2 cm, blanched
- 6 leaves mint, chopped
- ½ lime
1. In a skillet over medium heat, fry the anise stars for 3 minutes. Book. Pour the oil into the skillet and heat it, then add the annatto seeds. Wait until the oil turns bright red and remove the seeds with a spoon. Reserve the oil.
2. In a bowl, season the beef cubes with salt, pepper and sugar. Add a crushed garlic clove and half of the annatto oil. Marinate in the refrigerator for half an hour. Meanwhile, heat the chicken broth and lemongrass over medium heat in a cauldron.
3. In a heavy-bottomed casserole, heat the rest of the annatto oil and add the remaining garlic clove and onion. Mix well, then add the marinated beef cubes. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. Pour in the hot broth with the lemongrass. Also add fish sauce and soy sauce. Reduce heat, cover and cook for at least half an hour, skimming occasionally. (At this point you can transfer everything to a slow cooker.)
4. Finally add the star anise, curry, sambal oelek and carrots and continue cooking one more hour (4 hours in the slow cooker).
5. Like any good braised dish, it is even better warmed and tasted the next day.