Funny that my second photo recipe happens to be another Viet dish. While I'm of Viet descent, I rarely cook Viet food in my kitchen. Rely on my visits home to benefit from my mom's perfectionistic hand. However, this time I took notes on her pho bo, recreated it at home, and now pass on the recipe and photos to you, culinary hounds. Please let me know if album link isn't working or if you need clarification.
This dish is very forgiving and actually comes alive w/ improvisation, so please just use the recipe as a guide. All of the ingredients can be found at any decent general supermarket, so if you're stranded w/o a pho house for miles and crave this comfort in a bowl, then get going already!
Carb Lover's Mom's Pho Bo
Servings: about 5-6 med. bowls
Total cooking time: 3 hrs.
1-1.5 lbs. beef oxtails
about 4-5 qts. tap water
2-2.5 lbs. beef chuck roast, cut into 4 even pieces
2 in. piece of unpeeled ginger, roasted on burner til charred, then peel off skin
1-2 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
3 star anise
3 whole cloves
1 med. onion, chopped into large chunks
salt and pepper
wonton soup base mix
1 package banh pho (rice stick noodles)--may need more if you like lots of noodles
condiments: fresh herbs, lemon/lime wedges, scallions, pickled onions, Sriracha, bean sprouts
Directions: Put oxtails into salted boiling water in 8 qt. stock pot. When water resumes boiling, drain, wash oxtails, rub liberally w/ S&P. Return to stock pot, cover w/ 4-5 qts. water, turn heat to high. In cheese cloth, bundle roasted ginger, garlic, bay leaf, cinnamon, star anise, and cloves. Secure and toss into pot. Once it reaches a boil, simmer covered on low heat for about 1.5 hrs. Skim any foam that has risen to the surface.
Prepare chuck roast by washing and cutting into 4 even pieces. Rub liberally w/ S&P and let marinate while broth is cooking. Saute onion pieces til browned but not too caramelized. Prep pickled onion condiment by slicing red onions and marinading w/ rice or white vinegar.
After broth has simmered for 1.5 hrs., toss in meat and onions. Simmer for another hr. At this point, you'll want to add seasonings to taste. Start by adding half packet of soup base, 1 tsp. fish sauce and sugar, large pinch of salt, ground pepper. Taste then adjust according to your instincts. Too much fish sauce can be overpowering, so salt or wonton base works well if it needs more salty flavor.
Let simmer for another 30 min. Retaste and adjust seasonings. Take off of heat, strain broth into another pot. Set aside oxtails and meat for cooling. Cook noodles til al dente, only takes a few min. in salted boiling water. Prep condiments. Slice meat into thin long slices.
To eat: place broth back on heat til rolling boil. Pour hot broth into bowl filled w/ sliced meat atop cooked noodles. Garnish w/ desired herbs and condiments. Pass oxtails at table. Slurp away!