1/2 cup cooking oil
1 Tbsp annatto seeds (atsuete)
1 kilo beef chuck or round, sliced into bite-sized cubes
Salt and pepper,
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 lemongrass bulbs, bruised with the back of a knife
1 (2-inch) piece ginger, cut into big slices
1 to 2 cinnamon sticks
3 pieces star anise
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp Chinese five-spice powder
1 Tbsp curry powder
2 Tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp salt
1 (227-gram) can tomato paste
1 large onion, cut into quarters
2 medium-sized carrots, cut into 2-inch cubes
3 medium-sized potatoes, cut into 2-inch cubes
Steamed rice, to serve
* In a small pan, heat oil and add annatto seeds. Keep stirring until oil turns orange. Strain oil and discard seeds. Set aside.
* Season beef with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour. In a large pot, heat the prepared annatto oil and sear beef until brown. Set aside.
* Using the same pot, sauté lemongrass and ginger. Add cinnamon, star anise, bay leaves, five-spice powder, and curry powder.
* Return meat to the pot. Add fish sauce, salt, and tomato paste.
* Fill the pot with water until about three-quarters full. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to medium and simmer for an hour. Add onions. Simmer for another hour or until meat is forktender. Adjust seasoning to taste.
* Add carrots and potatoes. Simmer until vegetables are cooked. Serve with rice on the side.