Simple Vietnamese Oxtail Stew (Bo Kho)
Updated: Apr 15
It’s stewing season and the cold weather calls for comfort food. Today’s recipe is Bo Kho, it is a Fragrant Vietnamese Beef Stew with some French influences. The beef is stewed in gelatin-rich beef stock, aromatic spices, vegetables, and then brightened with the fresh taste of herbs and lime juice. I was craving oxtail and decided to change up the traditional Bo Kho meaty beef with the addition of oxtail.
In many recipes online, they include tomatoes in some form or another, but my recipe will not include it. After talking to various friends of Vietnamese heritage, I was advised that tomatoes are not the traditional way of making it in their homes. As a disclosure, this is most definitely not the traditional recipe, but it is my take on this delicious dish. But hey, it was delicious and I hope you enjoy it too!
Simple Vietnamese Beef Stew (Bo Kho)
2 Tablespoon Grapeseed Oil 1 Tablespoon Ground Annatto ¾ Onion, diced 15 Grams Ginger, sliced 32 Ounces Beef Broth (Food Hack: Water and Beef Stock Powder) 1 Cup Coco Rico Soda 4 Carrots, cut in chunks 2 Tablespoon Fish Sauce 1 Teaspoon Salt
Marinade: 1 lb Oxtail 2 lb Beef Stew Meat 1 clove Garlic, crushed 1 Tablespoon minced Lemongrass ¼ Onion, minced 1 Teaspoon Paprika 1/2 Teaspoon Red Chili Powder 2 Teaspoon Five Spice 1 Teaspoon Ground Pepper 1 Teaspoon Sugar 1 Tablespoon Grapeseed Oil
Spice Bag: 3 Star Anise 2 Bay Leaves 3″ Piece Cinnamon Stick 3 Cloves 2 Lemongrass stalk, bruised
Suggested Accompaniments: Thai Basil, Green Onions, Cilantro, Lime/Lemon, French Baguette Rice Noodles, Rice, Jalapenos, Red Thai Chili
Boil the meat in boiling water for 10 minutes.
After the short boil, discard the water and rinse off the meat under running water.
In a large bowl mix the parboiled meat together with the marinade ingredients and let it marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight (for better flavor).
In a large pot, add ground annatto seed to 2 tablespoon grapeseed oil. The powder will turn the oil to a bright red.
Add the ¾ of onion and ginger to the pot. Saute for 3 minutes.
Add the marinated beef on medium-high heat until browned.
Meanwhile, add the spices to the spice bag or coffee filter. Secure the spices in the bag with butchers twine.
Add the beef broth and coco rico soda to the pot. Stir and make sure you drag the wooden spoon on the bottom of the pot to remove the caramelized goodness on the bottom.
Next add the spice bag. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 2 hours on low heat.
After 2 hours of cooking, add the carrots, and cook for the last hour. Season with salt, pepper, and fish sauce to taste.
After simmering for several hours, the meat and oxtail should fall-apart tender.
Serve with any of the following:
- baked French baguettes that you can dip into the stew
- stew on top of some freshly cooked rice vermicelli
- stew on top of some freshly cooked rice