Serving
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Beef Curry with Potatoes
Vietnam
  -   Bo Xan Lan
Serves
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
4 main  
***
2-1/4 hr  
Yes
Substantial, satisfying and intensely flavorful. Many Vietnamese curries are served with noodles, but this one goes better with rice. Both Chinese and Indian influences are evident, though expressed in a completely Vietnamese way.



12
------
2
2
2
2
1/2
1/3
------
1
4
2
1/2
14
1
1/3
oz
---
cl


t
t
t
---
#
oz
T
T
oz
c
t
Beef, lean (1)
-- Marinade
Garlic
Red Chili (2)
Lemon Grass stalk
5 Spice Powder (3)  
Salt
Pepper
--------
Potatoes (4)
Carrots
Oil
Annatto seed (5)
Coconut Milk
Stock
Salt
Prep   -   (1-1/2 hrs - 20 min work)
  1. Dice BEEF into about 1/2 in cubes.
  2. Crush GARLIC and chop fine. Remove seeds from the CHILIS, cut into threads and chop fine. Strip tough outer leaves from LEMON GRASS and cut off hard root end. Smash thoroughly with your kitchen mallet and slice the bottom 4 inches crosswise as thin as you can get it (see Note-6). Mix together All Marinade Items.
  3. Massage Marinade into Beef and set aside for at least an hour for flavors to blend (overnight if in the fridge). Massage again a couple times during the marinating.
  4. Peel POTATOES and cut into 1/2 inch dice. Cut CARROTS into similarly sized dice, Mix and keep in cold water until needed.
Run   -   (45 min)
  1. Optional: in a small sauce pan heat Oil and fry Annatto Seeds over moderate heat until the oil is nice and orange - don't overheat. Strain out the seeds.
  2. Heat oil in a wok or spacious sauté pan and stir in Beef and Marinade. Fry stirring over moderately high heat until oil starts to separate (about 7 minutes) - avoid browning.
  3. Stir in Potato mix and fry stirring until well blended with beef.
  4. Stir in Coconut Milk and Stock. Bring to a boil and cook over low flame until potatoes are tender (about 20 minutes). The sauce needs to thicken a bit but should remain quite liquid, so cook uncovered until the right consistency, then cover.
  5. Check salt. Serve with plenty of Jasmine rice.
NOTES:
  1. Beef:   This should be a good stewing cut such as chuck (shoulder). Weight is with all excess fat, bones and membranes removed.
  2. Chilis:   Around here we all use Fresnos but Holland Red are more authentic. You can control heat by scraping out membranes or leaving them in. For this recipe I leave them in. For details see our Chili Page.
  3. Five Spice Powder:   A basic Chinese spice mix. Vietnam is more influenced by China than the rest of Southeast Asia. You can make your own from our recipe Five Spice Powder.
  4. Potatoes:   I prefer White Rose potatoes which achieve the right consistency and hold together well. Do not use Yukon Gold - they turn to mush if cooked just a little too long.
  5. Annatto:   This is a fix. This recipe should be made red by tiny tree seeds called hot mau added to the five spice powder. I have not yet identified these botanically and they are said not to be available outside Vietnam. So we dye the oil with the ever popular annatto seeds.
  6. Marinade:   OK, I like my marinade as smooth as I can get it, so I pound my lemon grass, slice it as thin as I can and then run it in my mini-prep food processor until running it longer will be futile. Then I pound it well in my big Thai granite mortar. So as long as I've got that monster out, I also pound the garlic and chilis.
  7. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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