Recipe adapted from The Culinary Institute of America Cookbook
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 teaspoons minced Thai bird chiles or as needed
1/2 teaspoon ground anise
1/4 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice
Salt as needed
Black pepper as needed
1.5 pounds ground pork or beef
3 cups beef broth
3 lemongrass stalks, crushed and cut into 3-inch pieces
2 tablespoons fish sauce or as needed
1 tablespoon soy sauce or as needed
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups thinly sliced carrots (You can mix and match. This time I did one cup carrot and 1 cup radish)
1 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
cornstarch if needed
rice for serving
1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the curry powder, chiles, 5 spice, anise, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Saute, stirring frequently, until aromatic, about 1 minute. Spoon half of this shallot-spice mixture into a bowl and set aside.
2. Add your meat to the Dutch oven and stir until evenly blended with the remaining shallot-spice mixture. Saute until meat has lost its raw look, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, lemongrass, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, carrots, and onion and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 20-30 minutes.
3. Stir in reserved shallot-spice mixture. Season to taste with salt, pepper and additional fish sauce or soy sauce. Sometimes I also like to dilute a teaspoon or two of cornstarch in a little bit of water and add it to the stew if it needs a little thickening. Serve with rice.