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

Pho Bo (Beef Pho)

Pressure cooker beef pho from Good Eats Reloaded
ACTIVE TIME: 1 hour 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 2 hours 25 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Ever wonder how to make pho at home?
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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  • 1 (5-inch) 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, peeled and 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
  • 8 ounces eye of round or sirloin steak
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated palm sugar
  • 14 ounces thin rice noodles, about 1/16-inch thick (banh pho)
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 Thai bird chiles, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 cups fresh herbs, such as cilantro, Thai basil, and mint
  • 2 limes, quartered

Specialized Hardware

6- to 6 1/2-quart stovetop pressure cooker
Spider strainer
Fine-mesh sieve
Pressure cooker beef pho from Good Eats Reloaded
ACTIVE TIME: 1 hour 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 2 hours 25 minutes
Yield: 4 servings


  • Toast the cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and fennel seeds in a large pressure cooker over medium heat until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the ginger and onion and continue to cook until slightly blackened, 8 to 10 minutes. Some of the spices may burn a bit, and that’s fine.
  • Add the shanks, oxtails, chicken wings, apple, and salt, then cover with the water. Apply the pressure cooker lid according to manufacturer’s instructions and bring to high pressure over medium-high heat. Once the cooker is steaming and whistling, back down on the heat to just maintain high pressure and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, firm up the eye of round or sirloin by placing in the freezer for 20 minutes. Once chilled, slice very thinly across the grain. Cover and refrigerate while the broth continues to cook.
  • After 30 minutes on high pressure, kill the heat and allow the pressure cooker to cool for 5 minutes. Next, slowly vent the pressure by using your cooker's pressure relief valve or by parking under cold running water until the safety lid lock disengages, usually around 30 seconds.
  • Carefully remove the lid. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the larger pieces of meat to a bowl and let cool. Strain the broth first through a colander into a second large bowl, then again through a colander or fine strainer lined with several layers of cheesecloth set over a third large bowl or storage container. Finish by stirring in the fish sauce and palm sugar.
  • When the shanks are cool enough to handle, slice or pull the meat from the bones and set aside. (Note: Everything up to this point can be done up to a day ahead.)
  • When you’re ready to serve, put the rice noodles in a baking dish, cover with boiling water and soak for 15 minutes before draining thoroughly.
  • Distribute the noodles between four wide soup bowlsBetter be deep, too and top with the slices of (raw) eye of round and a few pieces of the cooked beef. Pour on the hot broth to cover and garnish as desired with the scallions, chiles, sprouts, herbs, and limes.
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