Kicking things right off with a Vietnamese classic Beef Pho.
Our version of the dish packs all the punch and flavour as one of those fancy edgy Soho restaurants, but the difference is this one won’t set you back £15.
What I love about this version is it’s very easy, employing some of the fundamental techniques an authentic Vietnamese Pho recipe may include and once you’ve mastered this version you can just submit the stock you buy, use the same spices and vary the ingredients to suit what type you want. Pho is the perfect recipe to get creative with.
The secret here is finding a carton’d, low sodium, liquid and organic (if possible) beef stock that we can then adjust to suit the flavour profile we want… This need not be expensive, any decent supermarket should sell them, we got ours from Wholefoods for around £1.50.
So without further a due here is our super flavoursome, super speedy Tuesday 2hr Pho.
For the Broth
– 1.5 litre low sodium, liquid beef stock
– 1/2 Onion (Cut in half)
– 3 inch piece of root ginger (sliced whole down the middle)
– 1/4 leek (optional)
– Carrot (optional)
– Lump of rock sugar / Brown sugar (1 – 2 Tablespoons)
– 1 Garlic Clove
– Bunch Coriander stalks
– 1/2 stick of Cinnamon
– 3 Cloves
– Star Anise
– 3/4 Pepper Corns
– Vermicelli noodles
– Frying steak (As thinly sliced as possible)
– Bunch Coriander leaves
– small handful of chopped raw leeks
– 1 Scallion finly sliced into rings
Here you can really go ape, so the rest are optional and just gives it your own spin
– Sesame seeds
– Hot sauce
– Chilli Flakes
– Soft Boiled Egg
– Hoisin Sauce
– Fish sauce
– Chilli Flakes
Take your hard spices and toast until a fragrant aroma is released. If they turn black or white you’ve gone too far, then remove and set aside.
Take onion, garlic and ginger, then put you skillet pan on uber high or, place directly over a gas flame and char the living shit out of them. Not completely blackened all over but just on one side, and only so its just on one surface. This should only take a minute or two, too much charring will leave the broth tasting bitter, we want this to give it a smokey aroma. remove and set aside.
In the same pan, dump your stock into the pan and add onion, leek and carrot. set this to a rolling simmer for 45 minutes.. If you like this stage you can leave going all day, in fact the longer the better but as we already have liquid stock we only need to do it while we prep our other ingredients. This is also the time to add any random bones or lean cuts of cow you may have lying around the house.
Moving on we can begin to prepare all our garnish, so if not already done so, pick the coriander leaves from their stalks and place them into the broth. Then, slice a scallion into thin hoops, bare in mind here that the thinner the better. Slice your beef wafer thin, now I really mean this, the recipe wont work unless your beef is paper thin, so if necessary take the time to sharpen your knife.
Cook your rice noodles as per the packaging, drain and set aside.
Around the 1 hour mark add the ginger, garlic, sugar and hard spices.. cook and infuse these with the broth for 15-20 minutes, be sure to taste as having these in for too long can make the broth overly fragrant, we want it to remain beefy with an overtone of spicy aroma.
Remove items added in step 6 and / or drain liquid.
- Take a bowl and add cold noodles, and wafer thin, raw beef slices. Bring broth to a boil and pour in covering the beef and noodles – By not cooking the beef the liquid will cook the meat to a natural medium rare.. Finally add raw coriander, leek, scallion and any of the optional garnish, enjoy!