VIETNAMESE BONELESS SHORT RIB BRAISE
This dish takes inspiration from French Vietnamese cooking. It offers a wonderfully rich and complex flavor, seasoned with lemongrass, ginger, anise, Thai chili, daikon radish and Thai basil. We recommend serving this broth-y braise with rice noodles or coconut pilaf. Feel free to reduce the broth once the meat has been removed thickening it to your desired consistency.
- 3 pounds boneless beef short ribs, cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes
- 4 Tbsp canola oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups diced yellow onions
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/4 cup finely minced lemongrass
- 3 Tbsp tomato paste
- 2 by 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and smashed
- 2 whole star anise pods
- 1 or 2 Thai chiles, stemmed plus 1 tsp minced for garnish
- 6 cups beef stock
- 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch lengths
- 2 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1/4 cup finely sliced fresh Thai basil, for garnish
Place beef in a bow and drizzle with 1 Tbsp of the oil, sprinkle with the salt and pepper and stir to coat. Let stand.
In a large Dutch over, or heavy-bottomed pot, heat the remaining 3 Tbsp oil over high heat. When the oil is hot, working in batches, add the beef and cook, turning as needed for about 8 minutes, until browned on all sides. As each batch is ready, transfer it to a rimmed baking sheet.
Decrease the heat to medium and add the onion to the now-empty pot. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, until the onion is a deep golden brown. Stir in the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds more. Add the lemongrass, tomato paste, ginger, star anise, and whole chile to taste and stir to combine. Transfer the mixture to a large clay pot.
Add the beef and any accumulated juices to the clay pot and pour in the stock. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium heat, decrease thereat so the liquid is at a gentle simmer, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1-1/2 hours, until the meat is just tender.
Add the carrots and daikon, re-cover, and cook for 30 minutes longer, until the vegetables are cooked through and the meat is very tender. Remove from the heat; stir in the fish sauce, 1 Tbsp at a time, to taste.
Serve the stew directly from the clay pot. Top each serving with some of the basil and minced chile.