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Asian Beef with Basil
© Anna Williams

Asian Beef with Basil

  • ACTIVE: 45 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 2 HRS 45 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 6
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  • STAFF-FAVORITE

This hearty, Franco-Asian beef stew gets a fresh kick from basil and hot chiles.

marinade

  1. 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  2. 3 lemongrass stalks, lower third only, chopped
  3. 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  4. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  5. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  6. 1 teaspoon sugar
  7. 1/8 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  8. 3 1/2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes

stew

  1. 2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  2. 1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  3. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  4. 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  5. 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  6. 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  7. 5 cups beef broth
  8. 4 carrots, cut into 2-inch lengths
  9. 3 star anise pods
  10. 1 whole lemongrass stalk, cut into 3-inch lengths and lightly smashed
  11. Kosher salt
  12. Cooked medium-thick rice noodles, for serving
  13. 1/2 cup torn basil leaves
  14. 1 long fresh red chile, thinly sliced
  1. MARINATE THE MEAT 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.
  2. MAKE THE STEW 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Suggested Pairing

Lesser-known wine regions like California’s Lake County can produce great values. Try a Cabernet.