Viet Beef Stew with Star Anise and Lemongrass
Baguette and bo kho are great friends, but you also can serve the stew over pasta—try it over boiled egg noodles or rice noodles (select pappardelle-size noodles, such as A Taste of Thai brand). Add a green salad for a complete meal. If fresh lemongrass isn’t available where you shop, substitute 1/4 cup store-bought lemongrass paste, which is more widely available. Unlike fresh lemongrass, which is very tough and fibrous, you don’t have to remove the paste version before serving. Crushed tomatoes are usually available in 28-ounce cans, which each contain about 3 1/2 cups. No use for the leftovers? Start from a 28-ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes; strain and save the juices for Bloody Marys, pulse the tomatoes in a food processor, and measure out the 1 1/2 cups needed for the recipe.