- 2 pounds stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1-inch ginger, peeled and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons high-heat oil
- 3 whole star anise
- 2 (4-inch) sticks cinnamon
- 1 stalk lemongrass, smashed
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 3 to 5 cups chicken or beef broth, as needed
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 carrots, sliced ½-inch-thick
- Chopped green onions or cilantro, for serving
- Toasted French baguette, for serving (optional)
Marinate beef, onions, ginger, garlic, fish sauce and sugar in a large sealable plastic in the refrigerator for 4 to 24 hours.
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a heavy, large pot or Dutch oven. Toast star anise and cinnamon until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Brown beef, onions, marinade and lemongrass in batches, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in tomato paste to coat.
Cover with broth and add bay leaves and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until beef is tender. Add carrots during the last 15 minutes of cooking time. Top with green onions or cilantro and serve alongside toasted baguette.