Slow Cooker Vietnamese Style Beef Stew

Slow Cooker Vietnamese Beef Stew pinnable image

I love stew, especially at this time of year.  It's so homely and comforting and it begs to be mopped up  fresh crusty bread. It's also perfect for the slow cooker. Being chucked in and left for several hours does it the world of good.

If you're making stew, you really want to use "humble cuts" of meat that benefit from long cooking times and then fall apart beautifully. For beef stews, I get really good results with beef rib trim, or shin. Normally, I would throw the beef in with some carrots, onions and stock, possibly potatoes, add stock and leave it to cook. 

Recently, though, I have seen a few recipes for Vietnamese stew which looked delicious, so I started reading through a few to work out what the key ingredients are. It sounds more like a cross between a stew and a curry, which works for me! Vietnamese stew, or Bo Kho, has Asian elements like fish sauce, complemented by spices like chilli and cinnamon. It's eaten in different ways in different parts of Vietnam, sometimes for breakfast! Sounds interesting, right? So, I gave it a go in the slow cooker!

Let me warn you now- this smells amazing while it's cooking. So much so, that my husband commented on it when he walked into the kitchen and asked if we were going to eat it straight away.

You only need half a butternut squash for the recipe, so make a batch of this soup with the other half: Curried Butternut Squash Soup

This recipe for Slow Cooker Vietnamese Beef Stew is syn free on Slimming World if you swap the lemongrass paste for fresh lemongrass.

Slow Cooker Vietnamese Beef Stew pinnable image

(Serves 2-3)

450g beef shin
1/2 a butternut squash
2 tsp lemongrass paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ginger
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp brown sugar
2 shallots
2 red or green chillies or 2 tsp hot chilli powder
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp  fish sauce
250ml hot beef stock


1. Peel, and chop the butternut squash into cubes.

2. Peel and score the shallots down one side, then chop into thick circles.

3. Chop the chillis into very small chunks.

4. Put the beef shin, butternut and onion into the slow cooker. 

5. Add the garlic, lemongrass, ginger, tomato puree and sugar.

6. Pour in the soy sauce and the fish sauce and the beef stock and stir thoroughly. 

7. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4. 

slow cooker Vietnamese Beef Stew mixed together

If you don't have a slow cooker, you can do it in the oven in a casserole dish. It's just more costly to run an oven for that length of time.

You can exchange the butternut for carrot, if you need to, or have a bit of both!

Serve with crusty bread, rice noodles or rice, depending on what you fancy. Freeze the left-overs. Watch out though because freezing it, or chilling it overnight really ups the spice-factor.

slow cooker Vietnamese Beef Stew in a bowl

slow cooker Vietnamese Beef Stew with noodles