Vietnamese Anise Beef Pie (Bo Kho Meat Pie)

I like to eat when I travel, did I mention that? And you know what I’ve eaten more of than anything this past year? Meat pies. If Japan has onigiri, France has croques, Italy has trapizzinos, Poland has pierogis, then Australia and New Zealand have their meat pies. And they love it. And really, what’s not to love? It’s anything you can want all nicely wrapped up in a flaky, buttery pastry package and baked until golden crisp.  They’re palm sized so you can enjoy it for any occasion: brunch, lunch, snack, sporting events or even a light dinner. I was fascinated by the different types of meat pies: minced beef, lamb and rosemary, steak and kidney, chicken curry pie….the combinations are endless. So naturally, I thought why not combine two great ideas and make it one awesome dish with delicious twist? Look at me creating some Asian fusion. Take that David Chang.

Bo Kho is a traditional home style Vietnamese dish, which you don’t find too often served at Vietnamese restaurants. Even though Vietnam is a hot, humid, tropical land, someone somewhere one day decided they really wanted a stew and cooked this up. It is essentially a beef stew, containing your traditional ingredients of meat, potatoes and carrots, but with very intense, fragrant Vietnamese flavors of lemongrass and anise. It is often served over rice, paired with a good baguette or with noodles if you’re from central Vietnam. For me, it makes a great comfort winter dish, and makes for perfect timing this season.

So here’s my little twist on the meat pie. The best way to enjoy this is make the bo kho first, eat a big, refrigerate leftovers and bake leftovers into a pie the next day. Recommended to be served with a meat pie in one hand and a pint of your favorite beer in the other.


Vietnamese Anise Beef Pie (Bo Kho Pie)

Servings 6

Prep time: 1hr/ Total Time: 4-5 hr


  • 1 lb beef stew meat, cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 Tbsp annatto seeds
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 stalks lemongrass
  • 1″ knob ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 stick cinnamon
  • 2 pieces of star anise
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder
  • 1 tsp Madras curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp Vietnamese fish sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 of a  6oz can tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 carrots, diced into small chunks
  • 1 potatoes, diced into small chunks
  • 1/2 large onion, diced into small chunks
  • 1 box of Pie dough
  • 1 box of Pastry puff sheets
  • 1 egg


1. Wash the beef and coat it with 1/4 cup of flour.

2. In a small pot (~10 quart) on high heat, add in a good amount of olive oil and the annatto seeds. Cook until the oil turns a nice red color. Scoop out seeds and discard.

3. Add in beef and pan fry until brown. Add rest of flour to the pot.

4. Add lemongrass, ginger, cinnamon stick, anise, bay leaf, 5-spice powder, curry powder, fish sauce, salt and tomato paste.

5. Fill pot about 1/2 full with water and bring to boil.

6. Turn heat down and let simmer for an hour.

7. Add in carrots, potatoes and onion and allow simmer for another hour.

8. Add in cornstarch until sauce has thickened. Add any fish sauce or salt necessary to taste.

9. Fish out ginger, lemongrass, cinnamon and star anise and let the stew cool completely.

10. Preheat oven to 400F and grease a Texas/jumbo muffin tin

11. Cut the pie crust pastry into large circles and fill the muffin tin. Prick the bottom of each pie muffin tin with a fork.

12. Fill each muffin tin with some baking beads or rice grains and blind bake for 10 minutes.

13. Fill each pastry case with filling.

14. Take pastry puff and cut round lids for pie tops

15. Whisk together egg and 1 tbsp water for an egg wash, and the brush each pie top.

16. Bake for another 20 minutes or until golden.


P.S. This American girl wishes everyone a happy Australia day!



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