Vietnamese beef stew in red wine sauce (Bò sốt vang)

I think I have mentioned once before, that when the French left, they also left a trait of their culture in Vietnam. Walking around Ho Chi Minh City nowadays, you could easily see how the French have brought about many changes in our culture, from the many historical places scattered around the city to our cuisine, from our street food to the everyday family meals. This Vietnamese beef stew that I’m cooking today is another excellent example of when West meets East. Similar to many French beef stew (like beef bourguignon), this dish also has red wine base, but the spice and seasoning have changed significantly to adapt to local taste. Instead of herbs like parsley, rosemary or thyme, we use warm spices like cinnamon, star anise or cardamom.


Like any other stew, this is very easy to make, however, it takes a little bit of time for the braising, and a little bit more time to season beforehand for best flavour. It’s recommended to season at least 2 hours before cooking, or better yet, overnight! From all the recipes I’ve browsed through, it doesn’t seem like the type of wine matters much in determining the taste, however, red wine is a MUST. For some reasons, I think Burgundy would go great, but I’m using Chianti today. And if you could see how I struggle badly this afternoon to open a bottle of wine, and how my face and my kitchen have been splashed all over with red wine, check the bottle first if you don’t have a corkscrew!

Vietnamese beef stew in red wine sauce (Bò sốt vang)


For seasoning:

  • 1 kg shin of beef (or any braising beef that you like)
  • 1 tbs salt/granule
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp five spice powder
  • 2 garlic gloves, chopped
  • Ginger, chopped
  • 2 spring onion whites, chopped
  • 60 ml red wine

For cooking:

  • Cooking oil
  • Annatto seed or powder (optional)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped + 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 spring onion white, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 tbs tomato puree
  • 150 ml red wine
  • Hot water
  • 1 cardamom
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 carrots, cut into chunks
  • Salt, pepper and sugar to taste
  • Coriander to serve


  • Cut the beef into cubes, and season with all the ingredients in seasoning. Leave at least 2 hours or more, until the beef are no longer red and absorb the wine


  • When ready to cook, in a large pot, make the annatto infused oil by heating the oil with the seeds (or powder) until the oil turn red. Remove from heat, discard the seed and put the oil back on medium high
  • Add some butter until melted, then saute the chopped onion, garlic cloves and spring onion white until fragrant and the onion turns soft. Add the tomatoes and stir until soft


  • Add the beef and stir fry until slightly cooked then add the puree
  • Pour red wine over and leave to simmer for a few minutes on medium heat, then add hot water until the beef are submerged


  • Add cardamom, cinnamon, star anise and bay leaf, turn to low heat, season to taste, cover and leave to braise for 30 minutes
  • Add carrots, then continue to cover and let simmer for a further 20 minutes
  • Add sliced onions and cook for another 10 minutes, covered


  • When ready to serve, pour over a tbs or more red wine then sprinkle with coriander. This is best served with bread (I’d recommend baguette), rice or noodles (to make ‘phở sốt vang’)

For a cloudy day like today, this really is the ultimate comfort food. I have not been feeling very well these days, the weather (once again) is lousy and I’m (once again) a bit under the weather without much of an appetite. We have been in one of those couple fights and silent treatment again, and Lord knows how much I miss the afternoon hours that used to be filled with Meo. Being in love really is a habit. Now now, a bit of home would definitely be welcome in my kitchen, I miss Vietnam, I miss home & I ‘kinda’ miss Meo.

Sorryyyyyyy I’ve been all about the complaints today. Will get mucho mucho better soon 🙂


Phuong x

5 thoughts on “Vietnamese beef stew in red wine sauce (Bò sốt vang)

    • I love beef stew too but we hardly cook it at home due to the time consuming. So happy I finally learn to make one. It’s really warm & flavourful, hope you like it too ^^ Thank you Ada for stopping by!

  1. Pingback: Vietnamese Beef Stew Bo sot vang | Recipe ArchiveRecipe Archive

  2. Thank you for a great recipe! I was short on time and so didn’t marinate for the full time (and skimped on cooking time in a few spots, too) I used beef shank and a red wine blend and it turned out delicious. I’ll be making this again for sure 🙂

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