Vietnamese Beef Stew Bò Kho with Vegetables
Instant pot and stove top Paleo Vietnamese Beef Stew recipe with vegetables. This is the ultimate one pot beef stew recipe that’s hearty and healthy. Read on to learn how to make this simple Vietnamese-inspired Bò Kho Beef Stew!
Vietnamese Beef Stew – Bò Kho – Easy One Pot Meal !
This is a rewrite of an older recipe that was originally published before the Instant Pot was available. This ultimate one pot beef stew recipe is hearty, savory, and filling. Perfect for busy weeknights and colder months.
If you have an instant pot at home, this is definitely one of the recipes that I highly recommend you try. Most of traditional (and popular) Asian dishes require a bit tweaking to make them Instant Pot friendly because pressure cooker is not a common appliance in many Asian households.
Be that as it may, if you follow the simple instructions below, you’ll see how I made this Vietnamese Beef Stew in no time. I call it my ultimate set-it-and-forget-it beef stew recipe !
How To Make Vietnamese Beef Stew In An Instant Pot
I often find myself adjusting and translating cooking methods for dishes from stovetop to pressure cooker.
Two major areas that will help you make an awesome pot of beef stew in pressure cooker:
- Pay attention to moisture/liquid content: Unlike stovetop where moisture evaporates, the Instant Pot preserves most of the liquid because everything is sealed inside of the pot. Protein and vegetables also release further moisture/water during cooking. For example, if a stovetop recipe calls for 3 cups liquid, you might need to reduce it less by 1 to 1 ½ cups liquid for Instant Pot use.
- Vegetables and root vegetables in the pot: Vegetables will cook much faster than protein in a pressure cooker in the same amount time. You can either add the vegetables after the meat is done cooking (tender) and add extra cooking time until the vegetables are tender OR in my case I dice them into larger chunks and cook with the meat together. This way the vegetables still maintain shapes and texture after pressure cooking.
For root vegetables such as sweet potatoes and yams, unless you have a specific reason to do otherwise, I recommend baking starchy vegetables on the side (in the oven) and adding them back into the pot before serving, or serving on the side. This way, they won’t turn mushy, and will maintain a golden brown, crispy texture. It gives a lovely contrast to the soft and hearty beef stew.
What to do if there’s too much liquid after pressure cooking ?
Too much liquid will turn a stew into soup. Too little liquid and you run the risk of burning the sauce or ingredients in the bottom of the instant pot. If you’ve got too much liquid, make a starchy slurry by adding a few teaspoons of arrowroot powder mixed with a few tablespoons of cold water. Add the slurry to the hot boiling pot and cook over Manual for a few seconds to thicken the stew. Once the stew cools down to room temperature, it will also congeal further.
And if you like to add more leafy greens to the hearty Vietnamese Beef Stew, I simply stir-in chopped kale leaves and serve immediately. I like my leafy greens vibrant green with some texture, but if you prefer a soft texture like cooked collard greens, please feel free to cook them a bit longer.
Store extra in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for 1 month !
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Vietnamese Beef Stew with Vegetables
- 2 lbs beef short ribs or chuck shoulder, slice to 1.25 to 1.5 inch cubes
- 1 large onion, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- 1.5 tsp coarse salt
- 1 cup beef broth, , Stove top: 2 cups broth*
- 4 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 star anise pods
- 2-3 large loose carrots, , diced to larger chunks for instant pot | smaller bite sizes for stove top
- 2 cups daikon radish* (optional item), , peeled and diced to larger chunks for instant pot | smaller bite sizes for stove top
- Curly kale, as much as you like
- Yams or sweet potatoes, , diced to bite size pieces, as much as you like
- 1 to 1 ½ tbsp ginger, , grated
- 1-2 tsp chili powder, ,optional
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon, , I used vietnamese cinnamon
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 2 tbsp Red Boat fish sauce
- 1 ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Dice beef to 1.25 to 1.5 inch thickness cube shape. Marinate with ingredients listed under Beef Marinade. Use your hands to coat the seasoning well. Set aside in the fridge while preparing onion, garlic, carrots, daikon, and yams.
- Instant pot: Press saute function with 2 tbsp coconut or avocado oil. When hot, add diced onion and sliced garlic cloves. Season with a bit salt and saute until fragrant. Add marinated beef cubes. Sear the cubes on all sides. Season with a pinch of salt. Add carrots and daikon radish. Saute for a few additional minutes then press off. Add 1 cup beef broth, tomato paste, and star anise pods. Give a stir to ensure nothing is stick to the bottom of the pot. Close the lid, seal the valve, and press Manual – high pressure for 30 minutes.
- Stove top: In a dutch oven or heavy bottom large soup pot, add 2 tbsp coconut or avocado oil. When hot, add diced onion and sliced garlic cloves. Season with a bit salt and saute until fragrant. Add marinated beef cubes. Sear the cubes on all sides. Season with a pinch of salt. Add 2 cups beef broth, tomato paste, and star anise pods. Close the lid and reduce the heat to low and cook for about an hour until the beef is tender. (You might need to add extra broth during the cooking process until the beef is cooked through tender).
- In the meantime, preheat oven to 420F. Lightly season diced yams with salt and olive oil in a large sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes then lower the heat to 410F and bake the flip side for 10 minutes until they are soft, tender, and in golden brown caramelized color.
- Instant Pot: Natural release for 5 minutes then manual quick release. Test and see if the beef is tender to your liking. If not add 10 extra minute. If too much liquid, scoop out beef cubes, carrots, and daikon and press Saute function. Mix 2-3 tsp arrowroot flour with 1-2 tbsp cold water to make a slurry. Add the slurry to hot boiling broth and gently stir the broth until thickened. Add beef and veggies back to the pot and stir-in chopped kale leafy greens. Taste and see if more salt or fish sauce is needed.
- Stove top: Once the beef is tender add diced carrots and daikon. Cook for an additional 20 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked through tender to your liking. Stir-in chopped kale. If too much liquid, follow the steps above to thicken the sauce.
- Ladle beef cubes, vegetables, kale, and place roasted yams in a serving bowl. Drizzle with few tablespoons of beef stew saucy sauce. Serve hot and immediately.
Looking to put your Instant Pot in to good use ?
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