Tháng 7 trời mưa dầm dề, Sài Gòn một năm hai mùa mưa nắng thì có lẽ tháng 7 là cái mùa ảm đạm nhất ở thành phố này. Mùa mưa ở đây, những ai có gia đình quây quần thì xem như còn được may mắn, những ai sống độc thân thì có lẽ sẽ quay quắt lắm với những chiều, những đêm đội mưa về nhà một mình. Chính vì vậy, Team Luminary muốn dành tặng riêng kỳ này cho các bạn, những người đang sống và làm việc một mình tại Sài Gòn, như một món quà nhỏ khơi gợi chút ký ức về hơi ấm bữa cơm gia đình. Hãy hưởng ứng cùng chúng tôi, hẹn hò bạn bè một sáng cuối tuần, cùng nhau chuyện trò, nấu nướng, niềm vui nhận lại sẽ quý giá biết bao!
It’s rainy season in Saigon, perhaps July is the most dismal season of this town. Rain makes everything look so gloomy even when the pace of life still remains bustle and hustle as it always is. Especially to those who are lonely or alone striving to make a living in this town, July could make your homesickness worse. So Team Luminary decided to dedicate this issue to you, all the Saigonese loner, as a small gift with the hope it could, somehow, elicit the warmth of family memories in you and cheer up your day. Please join us spreading this warmth, invite your friends for a weekend come-over, gather together for cooking and having fun. Believe us, it will be precious moment!
JULY RECIPE – VIETNAMESE BEEF STEW by Xuan Ha
We do not own this recipe. Recipe adopted from several sources.
Serves 4 to 6
2.2 lbs beef hind shank, trimmed and cut into 1.5-inch chunks
3 medium sized carrots, peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks
34 oz of beef broth
2 tbs annatto seeds
2 tbs coriander seeds, toasted
2 black cardamom, bruised and toasted
2 cinnamon sticks, toasted
5 whole star anise, toasted
4 bay leaves
1 tbs sugar
1 tbs salt
1 small tea bag
2 tbs diced shallots
2 tbs minced garlic
1 tbs minced ginger
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder
2 tsp annatto powder
2 tsp turmeric powder
3 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 tsp cooking oil
3 stalks lemongrass, trimmed of loose leaves, cut into 3-inch length and bruised
Best served with Vietnamese baguettes
Fresh culantro and Thai basil
Vietnamese “muoi tieu chanh” (lime juice, sliced bird’s eye chili, salt and ground black pepper, mixed well together)
Sliced culantro, spring onion and onion
In large bowl, combine beef shank with shallot, garlic, ginger, black pepper, Chinese 5-spice powder, annatto powder, turmeric powder, salt, sugar, cooking oil and lemongrass, mix well and let them rest for at least 1 hour in the fridge.
In a small pot on medium heat, add 2 tbs of annatto seeds to 4 tbs cooking oil. The seeds will start releasing their color. Do not allow oil to boil, when the color is steeped red, turn of heat and drain the seeds.
In a large heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat, heat 3 tbs annatto seed oil to saute the marinated beef, stir occasionally. When the beef turns brown, stir in beef broth and add more water if necessary to just cover the beef. Put all the bay leaves, cinnamon, star anise, coriander seeds, black cardamom in a small tea bag then add it to the stew. Bring the stew to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 hours.
Uncover, add carrot and simmer for 30 more minutes or until carrot is tender.
Before serving, remove the tea bag, lemon grass and add the remaining annato seed oil to the broth for a silky red color. In a small bowl, stir cornstarch with an equal amount of cold water until a smooth paste forms, then whisk the paste into the stew, bring it to a boil and simmer until any starchy taste has been cooked away. Do not cook longer as the starch may break down and the liquid will thin out again. Make final adjustment and season to taste.
Top with sliced culantro, spring onion, onion and a dash of ground black pepper. Serve with baguettes, fresh culantro, Thai basil and Vietnamese “muoi tieu chanh.”