3 tablespoons pastured lard (find it here)
1 tablespoon annatto seeds (available here)
1 cup finely chopped shallots, from about 4 shallots
2 small Thai chiles finely chopped (optional)
2 tablespoons freshly grated garlic, from 6 large cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
4 lemongrass stalks, trimmed of tough parts and crushed
2 whole star anise (available here)
1 Ceylon cinnamon stick (available here)
2½ pounds of grass-fed beef chuck cut into 1½-2 inch chunks (find grass-fed beef here)
1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
¼ cup tomato paste
2 cups peeled and chopped tomatoes (available here in glass jars)
1 tablespoon palm sugar
¼ cup fish sauce (I buy this kind.)
3 cups warmed beef bone broth
1 medium roughly chopped onion
1 extra large carrot sliced into thick pieces
1 pound of Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and cut into large chunks
Sea salt, as needed
Thai Basil, Cilantro and Lime, to serve


Heat lard in a heavy pot , I prefer enameled cast iron, over high heat. Once the lard is melted, lower to medium heat and add annatto seeds. Sauté in fat for 2-3 minutes until very fragrant, careful of any seeds that pop and stirring constantly. Strain seeds from aromatic fat and allow to cool before tossing out. Leave the lard in the pot.
Heat annatto fat on medium high and add chopped shallots, allow to get some color, about 5 minutes. Lower heat a little and add chopped chiles, grated garlic, grated ginger. Stir like crazy to release the flavors into the oil. Careful not to let the paste burn, about 4 minutes. Then add whole bruised lemongrass stalks, star anise, and cinnamon stick and sauté for 2 additional minutes.
Add beef and stir to coat with spice mixture. Add Chinese five spice, tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, palm sugar, fish sauce, and warmed beef broth. Stir well and bring to boil, then lower and cover and let cook for 2 hours. At the 2 hour mark, add onion, carrot, and potatoes and continue to cook for another hour uncovered. Vegetables should be cooked through and meat fork-tender. If a thicker sauce is desired, increase heat to medium and cook for 30 more minutes. Taste and add salt as needed.
Remove lemongrass, star anise,

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