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Course: Mains
Keyword: Beef Stock, Comfort Food, Pho Bo, Pressure Cooker, Weeknight Dinner

Pho Bo (Beef Pho)

Pho Bo from Good Eats Reloaded
ACTIVE TIME: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
You can make some pretty magical things in a pressure cooker, one of them being beef pho, a pretty great Vietnamese breakfast dish made with a deeply rich beef broth, rice noodles, and various chilis and herbs like cilantro and Thai basil. Here's how I do it.
This recipe first appeared in Season 1 of Good Eats: Reloaded.
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Beef Broth

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 (2-ounce) piece fresh ginger, unpeeled and roughly crushed
  • 1 onion, thickly sliced
  • 3 pounds mixed beef shanks and oxtails
  • 1 pound chicken wings
  • 1/2 large Fuji apple, unpeeled
  • 5 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 10 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated palm sugar

Pho

  • 8 ounces eye of round or sirloin steak
  • 14 ounces 1/16-inch-thick rice noodles (banh pho)
  • 2 cups fresh herbs, such as cilantro, Thai basil, and mint
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 Thai bird chiles, thinly sliced
  • 2 limes, quartered

Specialized Hardware

  • 6- to 6 1/2-quart stovetop pressure cooker
  • Spider strainer
  • Fine-mesh sieve
  • Cheesecloth
Pho Bo from Good Eats Reloaded
ACTIVE TIME: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Procedure

  • In a large pressure cooker, toast the cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and fennel seeds over medium heat until fragrant.
  • Add the ginger and onion and blacken slightly. Some of the spices may burn a bit, and that’s fine.
  • Add the meat and bones, wings, apple, salt, and water. Apply the pressure cooker lid according to manufacturer’s instructions and bring to full pressure over medium-high heat. Once the cooker is steaming and whistling, back down on the heat to just maintain full pressure and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, place the eye of round or sirloin in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm up, then slice very thinly across the grain. Cover and refrigerate while the broth continues to cook.
  • Remove the broth from the heat and allow to cool naturally for 5 minutes, then slowly release the pressure.
  • Carefully remove the lid and fish out the meat, vegetables, and spices. Save the shanks and oxtails for serving. Use a fine-mesh strainer to skim any small particles and/or scum from the broth and strain through cheesecloth. Stir in the fish sauce and palm sugar.
  • When they’re cool enough to handle, slice the cooked shanks and pick the meat from the oxtails. Set aside for serving.
  • When you’re ready to serve, put the rice noodles in a baking dish and cover with boiling water. Let soak for 15 minutes. Drain thoroughly with a spider.
  • Distribute the noodles into wide, deep soup bowls and top with the slices of raw eye of round or sirloin and a few pieces of the cooked beef.
  • Cover with hot broth. Serve with the herbs, sprouts, scallions, chiles, and limes and let diners garnish as desired.
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