Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Vietnamese Beef Brisket

Mother in law's knee has been hurting for the last little while. This has made me feel quite guilty considering she has been running around trying to prepare items that I'm supposed to eat postpartum as per Chinese customs. Therefore, when she suggested that I make my mom's beef brisket tonight, I definitely could not let her down. I have to say though, that motherhood has definitely been tiring. With many other festivites coming up involving celebrating the birth of our beautiful little boy, I feel tired just thinking about the work involved although I am so grateful that there are so many people wanting to join us in celebrating his birth.

This recipe is one of my mom's specialties and a dish that I grew up with. Hopefully, you will enjoy it as well!


2 lbs. Beef Brisket
2 stalks Lemongrass
1 Onion (cut into chunks)
3 Potatoes (cut into chunks)
2 Carrots (cut into chunks)
2 Tomatoes (cut into chunks)
3 cloves Garlic (sliced)
2 cloves Shallots (sliced)
2 inch knob of Ginger (sliced)
4 tsp. Oil
1/2 Package (1 oz) Oriental Beef Spices (available at Vietnamese supermarkets)
1-2 tbsp. Curry Powder
3 Star Anise
3 Bay Leaves
1 can (6 oz) Tomato Paste
1-2 tbsp. Ketchup
1-2 tbsp. Salt
2-3 tbsp. Black Pepper
1 tbsp. Soy Sauce
2 tbsp. Butter
2 tbsp. Fish Sauce


Boil water in a large pot. Add beef brisket and allow to cook until redness has disappeared. Drain and wash with cool water, then set beef brisket aside.

If potatoes are wet, dry potatoes with a cloth or paper towels. Heat up wok and add 1 tsp. oil. Add potatoes and stir-fry until browned. Remove from wok into a large pot.

Reheat wok and add 1 tsp. oil. Add onions and stir-fry until browned. Remove from wok into the large pot with the potatoes.

Reheat wok and add 1 tsp oil. Add carrots and tomatoes and stir-fry until carrots are a little browned and tomatoes are soft. Remove from wok into the large pot.

Reheat wok again and add 1 tsp. oil. Add garlic, shallots, ginger, lemongrass and stir-fry until fragrant. Add beef brisket and stir-fry. Add oriental beef spice, curry powder, salt, pepper, tomato paste and mix until the brisket is coated. You may want to add a little water. Once coated, remove everything from wok into the large pot. Add bay leaves, star anise, ketchup and soy sauce. Cover with water and allow to bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat and simmer for at least an hour.

When brisket is tender, add butter and fish sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Serve with vermicelli and french bread.

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