Lemon grass is commonly used all through Asia - but it is most common in Southeast Asia. Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam employ it in their cuisines for making dishes like Tom Yum Goong, Beef Rendang, and Laksa to name but a few.
Star Anise has a strong aniseed flavor, with a licorice-like aroma. It is the dominant flavor in Chinese five-spice powder. Star anise is also used to flavor alcoholic drinks. The whole spice is an attractive eight-pointed star, and used carefully brings a great depth of flavor to this dish.
Ginger is another key ingredient - use a little at first, but do use it because you will notice a difference. Even if you do not actually taste the ginger directly - it actually influences and enhances the overall flavor of the dish.
It really does help to get organized by getting all your ingredients measured and organized first.
Why - because when you have never made a recipe before - having all your ingredients ready means that you can firstly check them off against the recipe before you start so that nothing is missing. Secondly - as you are moving through the cooking steps it lets you focus on the dish preparation rather than jumping around looking for or preparing a missed item.
This photo refers to step 1 of the recipe above set your instant pot to high temperature saute.
Put in the beef and leave it on one side for about 3-5 minutes for it to go brown. Resist the urge to stir or turn your beef too early.
What you are doing in addition to browning off the beef - is searing in the flavors by searing the sides beef, thus locking in the juices.
After that side is done - repeat for the other sides and again leave them to brown. You can see here in the photo that I am actually using tongs to turn the beef. It takes a bit of extra time rather than just mixing - but the result is better.
After the first two sides are done I do resort to a more general stir for the others.
See the next photo for the result.
Now you have seared your beef and this is what it should look like.
Take the beef out and rest it in a bowl or on a plate while you move to the next saute step for the rest of the ingredients.
Next add the prepared and sliced onions, shallots, and saute them first.
After they have started to change to a clear color - add in the diced garlic, star anise, lemongrass, ginger, cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon, fennel seeds, carrots and just cook then for about one minute.
With the instant pot still on saute - add in the stock and "deglaze" the bottom of the pan by using a wooden spoon and scrape off any burnt sections from the bottom - this will give you even more flavor.
Then add everything else and you are ready to pressure cook.
Now it is time to place all of the ingredients into the instant pot and give them a good stir. When you are stirring make sure the beef is covered with liquid as much as possible.
Now you are ready to pressure cook this delicious dish.
This is what the completed Lemongrass beef stew looks like.
Take out the lemongrass, cloves and star anise before eating - they have only been used to flavour the dish.
Here is a "cheffy" tip on how to prepare the lemon grass. Take a coffee tamper or similar heavy kitchen item and use it to crush the lemongrass.
This really helps to release the loverly lemongrass flavor.
Here are a few ways to prepare the dish.
In a salad bun - makes a delicious lunch.
You can also have the main dish at dinner time with rice, noodles, pasta, or even mashed potato.
This really is a versatile pressure cooker recipe and we hope you enjoy it.
Bò Kho is a very popular classic Vietnamese Beef Stew. The key ingredients include beef, carrots, onion, lemongrass, and spices (i.e. star anise, cinnamon). Follow this recipe and you will really have a great dish. This dish can also be made with oxtail for extra richness, flavors, and textures because of the bones.
See our Oxtail Recipe