Vietnamese Bo Kho Braised Wagyu Brisket Recipe
It’s been raining for the past couple of days and while I’m sad that we aren’t getting as much walking in, I’ve been super happy with the weather enforced cozy vibes. Mike and I have been on a soup and stew craze: our fridge is FULL to the brim of various stocks, soups, and stews, in various stages of doneness and assembly. We love experimenting while cooking – Mike a little more so than me – and not to toot our own horn, but we have been making so many amazing things. The only problem is, we’ve amassed a huge amount of leftovers. Anyone want to come over and help eat?
One of the recent winners was a brisket-y take on bo kho. Have you guys had bo kho? In Vietnamese, bo means beef and kho means to stew (or braise/simmer)so it’s essentially beef stew. It’s a super warm and comforting stew filled with delicious aromatics, beef, and vegetables. They have an incredible version at Little Sister and ever since eating it there, I’ve been dreaming about making a version of it at home. To be honest this didn’t turn out anything like the Little Sister version. It didn’t turn out like the traditional version either, but it is delicious and perfect for making if you’re planning on having people over.
Brisket is the ultimate dinner party food. Just do a few minutes of prep before hand, sit back, and relax while your house fills up with amazing smells. By the time it’s ready to pull from the oven, your guests will be begging you to eat. This particular recipe needs a touch more time than using onion soup mix and ketchup, but the result is so worth it. Even better if you use wagyu brisket – a Japanese breed of cattle that has intense marbling and flavor. We got ours from Lone Mountain Wagyu and it was tender, juicy and full of beefy flavor.
From there, it was just a question of incorporating those classic bo kho flavors: lemongrass, garlic, ginger, shallots, star anise, fennel, cloves, cinnamon, and bay leaves. Every family has a different way of making bo kho and Mike’s family is no different. These days, if I ask Mike’s mom how to make something, she’ll tell me to go to the market to buy a little spice pack, in this case, it would be conveniently labeled “bo kho.” But, back in the day, Mike said his mom made bo kho the same way she makes everything else: a little bit of lemongrass, shallots, sugar, fish sauce, tomatoes, a bay leaf or two. That’s kind of sort of like this recipe!
Happy stew season friends! Hope you guys give this a try 🙂
Vietnamese Bo Kho Braised Wagyu Brisket Recipe
- 1 Lone Mountain Wagyu brisket, about 3lbs
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- oil for the pan
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced or grated
- 1 shallot, minced
- 3 tablespoon minced lemongrass
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 6 cups beef stock
- 3 whole star anise
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 3 whole cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 4 stalks lemongrass, bruised
- 1 inch piece ginger, sliced
- 1-2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-2 inch pieces
- 8-10 new potatoes, scrubbed or peeled
- 1 bag pearl onions, peeled
- 1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons fish sauce, or to taste
- chopped cilantro
- sliced green onion
- sliced jalapenos
- lime wedges
- rice, if desired
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Season both sides of the brisket with salt and freshly ground pepper. In a large dutch oven, heat up a bit of oil over medium high heat until hot and shimmery. Sear the brisket on both sides, until deeply browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the ginger, shallot, lemongrass, and garlic. Cook, stirring until soft, 1-2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and beef stock. Wrap up the star anise, fennel seeds, cloves, bay leaf, and cinnamon in cheese cloth or place in a large tea bag for easy removal later. Add the spice satchet to the stock, as well as the brisket, stalks of lemongrass, and piece of ginger. Bring to a gentle boil then cover and place in the oven for 2 hours.
When 2 hours is up, add the carrots, new potatoes, and pearl onions to the pot. Place back in the stove for another 1 hour or until vegetables and brisket are fork tender.
When done, remove from the oven and take out the spices, lemongrass stalks, and ginger. Season with sugar and fish sauce. Remove the brisket and slice, against the grain. Enjoy with cilantro, green onions, jalapenos, lime, and rice, if desired.
Note: You may want to thicken up your sauce if you’re into brisket with a thicker gravy. If so, after you remove the brisket, make a quick roux: melt 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Stir in 3 tablespoons of flour and cook, whisking, until brown and rich. Whisk into the cooking liquid and simmer, on medium low, until the sauce thickens.