Preheat the oven to 300°F. Time to gather and prep your ingredients for the marinade!
Trim the fresh lemongrass stalk and cut into 3-inch lengths. Bruise the lemongrass with a heavy object (e.g. ramekin, broad side of kitchen knife, you get the idea).
Toss the beef, lemongrass, fish sauce, curry powder, micro-planed ginger, applesauce, and bay leaf into a large bowl and mix everything well.
Let the meat marinate for 30 minutes.
When you're ready to cook your meat, heat the ghee in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and sear the beef in batches until they're nice and browned all over.
Place the seared beef and the reserved lemongrass and bay leaf on a plate.
Lower the heat to medium-low and toss in the onions and cook until they are softened.
Toss in the tomatoes, salt to taste, and stir to combine. Put the lid on and simmer the sauce for 12-14 minutes until a paste is formed.
Once the paste is formed, add in the beef, the reserved lemongrass and bay leaf, and the star anise.
Raise the heat to medium and stir everything on and off for 5 minutes.
Add the 3 cups of water and the carrots to the pot. Raise the heat to high and bring the stew to a boil.
Cover the Dutch oven with the lid and place it in the oven for about 2½ hours or until the brisket is very tender.
Once the meat is done cooking, defat the stew and place in a storage container in the fridge. When you're ready to eat, reheat the stew on stove and remove the lemongrass, bay leaf, and star anise. Top with freshly chopped cilantro and serve!