*Tuesday's Pressure Cooker Beef Stock recipe? That was just a sideline. I perfected my beef stock because I wanted to make broth for Pho.
And, while I'm at it...Pho is pronounced "fuh" (rhymes with duh), not "faux" (rhymes with sew, a needle pulling thread). Here's an entertaining video explaining the difference.
When it comes to cooking, Pho really is as simple as it seems. The complexity comes from the combination of the ingredients; if you have a good beef broth, the rest of Pho is easy. If you have a pressure cooker, it doesn't even take that much time.
*If you don't make your own beef broth, then you really will have a Faux Pho. Hahahahaha...cough...sorry.
Recipe: Pressure Cooker Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup)
Inspired by Jeffrey Alford, Naomi Duguid Hot Sour Salty Sweet: A Culinary Journey Through Southeast Asia
- 8 to 12 quart Pressure Cooker (I use this one: Kuhn Rikon 12-Quart Family Stockpot Pressure Cooker)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 pounds meaty beef shanks and oxtails
- 1 large onion, trimmed, peeled, and sliced thin
- 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced thin
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 dried star anise pods
- cinnamon stick (about 3-4 inches long)
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 1/4 cup thai fish sauce
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp table salt
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1.5 lbs beef brisket
- 10 cups of water, or a little more to cover the ingredients
- 1 lb thin rice noodles, cooked according to package directions
- 2 cups sprouts (bean sprouts are traditional; I went with mixed sprouts)
- 1 cup cilantro leaves (I pull a handful from the head of the bunch)
- 1/2 cup basil leaves (thai basil is best, but any basil will do)
- 2 large shallots, trimmed, peeled, and sliced thin
- 2-3 serrano chilies, stemmed and sliced thin (thai bird chilies if you can find them)
- Limes, cut into wedges
- Sriracha hot sauce (or other asian hot sauce)
- thai fish sauce
- soy sauce
*See my Pressure Cooker Beef Stock for the basic technique behind this recipe.
1. Brown the beef in two batches: Heat the vegetable oil in the pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add half the shanks and oxtails and sear for 3 minutes per side, or until well browned. Remove the to a bowl, add the second batch of oxtails and shanks, and brown for 3 minutes per side. Add to the bowl with the rest of the beef.
2. Saute the aromatics: Add the onions and ginger to the pot and saute for 8 minutes, or until the onions are browning around their edges.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients: Increase the heat to high, add 1/2 cup of water, and scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits. Add the browned beef and any juices in the bowl, then the star anise, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, fish sauce, soy sauce, salt and sugar. Stir to combine, then put the beef brisket on the top. Pour in the 10 cups of water, which should just cover the beef.
4. Pressure cook the stock: Lock the lid on the pressure cooker and bring the cooker up to high pressure. Lower the heat to maintain the pressure, and cook on high pressure for 50 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the pressure to release naturally, about 20 minutes.
*Make sure you read your pressure cooker manual for the details of how to lock the cooker and bring it up to pressure. Every model does things a little differently. Also, because of all the water in the cooker, it will take longer than usual to come up to pressure and cool down.
5. Strain the stock and slice the beef: Open the pressure cooker, and remove the beef brisket, beef shanks, and any oxtails with a lot of meat on them to a carving board. Strain the stock into another pot through a fine mesh strainer and cheesecloth. (See my stock straining post for details.) Slice the brisket crosswise, against the grain, into thin slices. Pull and shred the meat from the shanks and oxtails, removing any big hunks of fat and gristle.
6. Serving: In individual soup bowls, put some of the rice noodles, top with some shredded and sliced beef, and cover with the strained beef stock. Serve, with the condiments and add-ins, so people can doctor the soup to their liking. (I add a little bit of everything...)
|Toppings for the soup, ready to go|
*Make ahead version: If you have the time, finish the recipe through step 5, then refrigerate the broth and beef separately. Up to 2 days later, de-fat the stock as I described in my beef stock recipe, then reheat the stock by bringing it back up to a boil. Continue with the serving step; the hot broth will re-heat the beef.
*If you have leftover broth, freeze it. It will last for at least three months, and you can make a very good Pho in as long as it takes to thaw the stock and cook the noodles..
*Don't have a pressure cooker? Make stock in your oven for a long, slow, even simmer. Use the ingredients from this recipe with the following oven-simmering technique: Turkey Stock Done Right. Simmer in the oven for 5 hours, then continue with step 5.
*According to the folks at my local health food store, Mustard Seed Market, bean sprouts are extremely perishable. They can't keep them in stock because they go bad so quickly. That's why I substituted random sprouts.
Questions? Comments? Other ideas? Favorite places to find Pho in your neighborhood?* Leave them in the comments section below.
*Mine is not exactly in my neighborhood: Superior Pho in Cleveland. It's a half hour drive away...but I make the trip whenever I can.
Pressure Cooker Beef Stock
Bahn Mi - Vietnamese Sandwich
Jeffrey Alford, Naomi Duguid Hot Sour Salty Sweet: A Culinary Journey Through Southeast Asia
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