Beef Stew with Carrots & Paprika from Little Vietnam by Nhut Huynh
Snakebean is a funky little diner on Oxford Street in Darlinghurst. right in my hood, and one of our favourite places to eat. It’s reasonably priced, healthy “fast food” churned out of a teeny little kitchen by Nhut Huynh and his team. Formerly of RQ on Crown Street, Huynh and partner Jeremy McNamara closed RQ to focus on the book Huynh was writing, Little Vietnam. Being a local favourite, when the book was released I just had to buy it.
This lovely autobiographical book has probably suffered in being released in proximity to Secrets from the Red Lantern by Pauline Nguyen, with which is shares a similar story: refugees come to Australia, work hard, make in impact in their chosen field and then write a book. It’s a lovely book and I decided to try my boyfriends’ favourite dish from the restaurant Beef stew with carrots and paprika.
Beef Stew With Carrots and Paprika
1.5kg Stewing Beef, cubed into 4cm pieces
1 litre chicken stock
2 large carrots, cut into bite size pieces
1 tbs sugar
100ml tomato paste
rice to serve
1 tbs cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 tbs salt
1 onion finely chopped
2 tbs finely chopped galangal (I had none so just increased the ginger)
2 tbs finely chopped ginger
2 tbs lemongrass finely chopped (about 2 stalks, white part only)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup sweet paprika
1/2 tsp five-spice powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
Dry fry cumin and coriander seeds over low heat for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
Remove and grind into fine powder with a pestle and mortar.
Mix with remaining ingredients until well combined (I used a small food processer attachment on my stick blender, and type of bladed food processor would be useful).
Coat meat in marinade, cover with gladwrap and leave to marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Place meat and marinade in heavy based saucepan and add chicken stock. Bring to the boil over high heat then cook for 30 minutes.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for another 2 hours.
Add carrots, sugar and tomato paste then stir well to combine.
Cook for another 30 minutes or until carrots are tender.
Serve with rice.
My only criticism of this dish is the insane amount of paprika it calls for. Ridiculous for something so expensive. Boyfriend actually prefers this recipe which is still packed with flavour and doesn’t require making the marinade/paste: Vietnamese Beef and Star Anise Stew