4 pounds short ribs on the bone, halved through the bone or beef stew meat cut into 1-inch-thick pieces
1 tablespoons olive oil
small 4 to 6 yellow onions, peeled
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
3 ounces fresh ginger, cut into 3 slices and lightly crushed
2 cups young coconut juice or beef stock
2 stalk s lemongrass, outer leaves and tough green tops removed, root ends trimmed, and bulbs halved crosswise and lightly crushed
4 to 5 star anise
1 cinnamon stick, about 2-1/2 to 3 inches long
3 to 4 dried chilies or 2 to 3 fresh bird’s eye or Thai chilies
large 2 to 3 carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally 1/4 inch thick
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Let's Make It
Combine the fish sauce, five-spice powder, and sugar in a dish. Add the short ribs or beef stew meat, coating well, and allow to marinate, refrigerated, for 4 to 6 hours.
Heat together the oil, onions, garlic, and ginger in a sand pot or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Cook stirring often, until fragrant and golden, about 10 minutes.
Add the marinated meat, scraping the marinade from the dish into the pot. Add the coconut juice or beef stock and cover the pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the lemongrass, star anise, cinnamon stick, chilies, and annatto seeds and simmer covered (occasionally turning the meat) over low heat for 2 hours.
Add carrots and continue braising until the meat falls off the bones, 1-1/2 to 2 hours more. Skim off the fat and serve with a French roll on the side.