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Vanessa Baxter's Hearty Beef with Lemongrass and Star Anise

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Hearty Beef with Lemongrass and Star Anise

Vanessa Baxter



650g beef topside, cut into small chunks

salt and pepper

1 Lemongrass stem, grated or very finely chopped

1 long red chilli, chopped

1 small red chilli, chopped

2cm knob ginger, chopped

4 shallots, peeled and chopped

3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed


3 star anise

1 tsp five spice

1 cinnamon stick

1 can tomatoes, whole

1 Tbs fish sauce, or to taste

1 Tbs sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 large carrots, cut into chunks

2 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks


Toss the beef in the salt and pepper to season.

Place the lemongrass, chilli, ginger and shallots and garlic into a small food processor and process to combine.

Heat the oil in a heavy based pan and gently fry the paste to release the aromas.  Around 3 minutes.

Add the beef to the pan and cook on a medium to high heat to brown the meat.  Around 8-10 minutes.  Stir in the star anise. five-spice and cinnamon.  Add the tinned tomatoes, fish sauce, sugar, salt and 1 litre of water.


Simmer for about 1.5 hours until the beef is tender.  Add in the potatoes and carrots and simmer for another 20 minutes to cook through.


Tip:  You can cook the meat in a pressure cooker for 30 minutes, then release the steam and add the vegetables and simmer for the final 20 minutes to cook through.  You will not need the full 1 litre of water for the pressure cooker - 500ml should do!


Tip:  You can pop the stew into a baking dish and cover and slow cook in a 150C oven for 2 hours.


Tip:  Serve with flat rice noodles; baguette or rice!