Asian Beef with Basil
Photo: Anna Williams
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Total: 2 Hours, 45 Minutes
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 3 lemongrass stalks, lower third only, chopped
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
- 3 1/2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 5 cups beef broth
- 4 carrots, cut into 2-inch lengths
- 3 star anise pods
- 1 whole lemongrass stalk, cut into 3-inch lengths and lightly smashed
- Kosher salt
- Cooked medium-thick rice noodles, for serving
- 1/2 cup torn basil leaves
- 1 long fresh red chile, thinly sliced
- In a mini food processor, mince the garlic with the lemongrass. Add the soy sauce, oil, salt, sugar and five-spice powder and pulse to combine. In a large bowl, toss the beef with the marinade to coat thoroughly. Let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- In an enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderate heat. Add half of the meat; cook until lightly browned. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with 1 tablespoon of the oil and the remaining meat.
- Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil to the casserole along with the onion, garlic, ginger and crushed red pepper. Add 1 tablespoon of water, cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the aromatics are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until glossy, about 1 minute. Add the broth and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits.
- Return the meat to the casserole. Add the carrots, star anise and lemongrass. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender, 1 hour and 45 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a bowl. Boil the sauce over high heat until reduced to 4 cups, 3 minutes. Discard the star anise and lemongrass. Return the beef to the casserole. Season the stew with salt and serve over noodles. Garnish with the basil and red chile.
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