Tag Archives: Beef

Bo Luc Lac Shaking Beef Recipe

15 Jul

I had a craving for the super simple yet flavor-packed Bo Luc Lac, or Shaking Beef. It’s also one of my favorite dishes to say. I know I’ve made it several times but apparently never blogged the recipe. My sister in law makes a really great version of this simple main dish adding mushroom sauce in addition to the typical oyster sauce. Traditionally, the seared beef cubes are served atop crisp, raw watercress and tomato slices. I had arugula and cherry tomatoes left over from and Independence Day fresh corn salad and decided to use those. The arugula has the same peppery bite as watercress, and it easier to eat!  I’ve seen many recipes call for tossing the greens in a vinaigrette, but I don’t think it’s necessary with the muoi tieu chanh (lime, salt, and pepper dipping sauce).

Ideally, you want to marinade the beef overnight to achieve maximum flavor, but 30-60 minutes will do in a pinch. You want tender beef – steer clear of the time saving beef cubes that are usually stew meat. You’ll tire of chewing before getting full.

Prepare in the order below and serve with rice and one or two other small dishes to round out the meal. Now if this isn’t a picture of summer, I don’t know what is!

Dinner table set with Shaking Beef, bowls of rice, and lime dipping sauce. Continue reading

Comfort Food: Bo Kho (Vietnamese Beef Stew)

15 Jan

There’s no way around it – today’s weather sucks. Cold, rainy and all around bleh calls for food that warms the soul and, more practically, my bones. The first time I made Bo Kho (Vietnamese Beef Stew) was a revelation. My family’s beef stew was the best…but Bo Kho’s the ginger, lemongrass and other spices give the savory stew a little something extra. Bonuses – this meal is super budget friendly and it gets better the day(s) after. Perfect since tomorrow’s weather forecast is just as awful.

Bo Kho (Vietnamese Beef Stew)

  • 1-2 lbs beef shank (you can also grab stew meat pre-cubed to save time)
  • 2 stalks lemon grass, tenderize bottom with blunt edge of your knife and cut in big pieces (6″ or so)
  • 2″ knob fresh ginger, cut in thick slices
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 star anise
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 -2 tbl white sugar
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 10 clove points crushed in mortar (if you have powder, use 1/4 tsp)
  • 1 tbs paprika
  • 2 tbl fish sauce
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 2 tsp Vietnamese Madras curry powder (I had a paste, so used that)
  • 1/3 cup flour*
  • 3 tbl EVOO
  • 1 tbl annatto seeds
  • 32 oz beef broth
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut on bias in 1.5″ chunks
  • 2 potatoes, washed and cut in 1″ chunks
  • 1 white onion, quartered
  • Garnish: vinegared onions, cilantro, Thai basil, limes.
  • Serve with French Bread, vermicelli noodles or rice

Thuan likes the tendon, so I purchased beef shank with tendons attached. If you prefer leaner meat, go for brisket or even tenderloin. Cut meat in 1.5 – 2″ chunks and dry with paper towel (this helps in the browning process), and set aside.

Mix sugar, pepper, crushed clove and paprika. Season meat with salt and sprinkle on some of this spice mix (maybe a 1/3 of mix) then toss/dredge with 1/3 cup flour* (If you want the dish to be less stew-like and have a lighter, more soupy broth – still as flavorful – skip this).

Ingredients for Bo Kho Vietnamese Beef Stew

Ingredients for Bo Kho Vietnamese Beef Stew

In heavy bottomed pot (I use cast iron for this) over medium high heat, add EVOO and annatto seeds to draw out the beautiful, rich red color from the seeds, stirring often for about 5 minutes. The oil should look like the oil that drips out of sloppy joes.

If you don’t have annatto seeds or can’t find them, you can use red food coloring or even skip it. Scoop out the seeds and add flour dredged meat cubes to brown on all sides. You may have to do this in batches.

Once all of your meat is browned, add in the rest of the spice mixture, lemongrass, ginger, cinnamon, star anise, bay leaves, fish sauce, tomato paste and curry paste/powder. Stir to mix well and cover meat with all the yummy goodness. Pour in beef broth and stir well. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for at 1 – 3 hours (huge range depending on meat type and how much time you have – the longer the better). The house already smells flipping amazing. Yankee Candle should make it a new scent. Seriously.

Bo Kho gettin' happy in the cast iron.

Bo Kho gettin’ happy in the cast iron.

Now is when I like to take a kitchen break and sit down with a glass of wine and trash TV. Tonight’s feature, DVR’d Real Housewives of Beverley Hills.

Come back to the kitchen an hour before you plan to eat and chop up the potatoes, carrots and onion and toss in the pot. Stir, cover and keep cooking.

Once the veggies are soft and meat is fall-apart tender, you’re ready to chow. Serve with chopped cilantro, basic, lime wedge and vinegared onions.

Bo Kho

Bo Kho

What was that again about the rain?


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