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Monday, November 25, 2013

Crockpot Beef Pho

I have to admit, mine isn't as beautiful as the dish that inspired this, from the lovely and talented Dorothy Stainbrook at Heath Glen Farms, linked here: 

But, I was very excited at the change to finally convince my husband that he would like this dish. I love pho, and we have tried it a few times, but he just never liked it. Well, in his defense, the first time he had it, I brought it home from a restaurant, and I didn't give him proper instructions on how to eat it. He took ALL of the garnishes, dumped them into the soup and attempted to eat it. It wasn't good. He isn't a big fan of soy sauce, and there was way too much basil and too many hot peppers, so it didn't go over well. We have had some bad versions as well. So, he was convinced he didn't live it. 

I was determined I could make a version he would like, and then I saw Dorothy's crock pot style pho. I knew I could slightly change the mix of ingredients to make it something he could like. And, he did ! The best thing about this is how easy it is to modify to your tastes. Thank you so much, Dorothy, for inspiring this lovely soup ! 

Crockpot Beef Pho 
1 pound oxtail, short ribs or beef shank 
2 tablespoons fish sauce 
2 tablespoons soy sauce 
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic 
2 large onions, diced 
4 ounces ginger, diced 
8 cups beef stock 
1 cinnamon stick 
1 teaspoon anise seed 
1 teaspoon fennel seed 
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes 
2 tablespoons honey 
For garnishes: 
Lime, cut in wedges 
Bean sprouts 
Sauteed cabbage
Thin rice noodles 
1 pound sirloin steak, thinly sliced 
Jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced 
Fresh herbs: basil, mint, cilantro 
Place oxtail, ribs or shank in a zip lock bag, along with the fish sauce and soy sauce, and place in the refrigerator. Let marinate overnight. In the morning, heat olive oil in a large, non-stick skillet. Place meat in skillet and sear well on all sides. Place meat in a crockpot. Add onions, garlic and ginger to the same skillet and saute until all are carmelized, about 10 minutes. Add these to the crockpot, and then pour in beef stock. Place a small saute pan over high heat, and place dry spices in pan. Heat spices until they become aromatic, let them cool, and place in a small cheesecloth pouch. Add these to the crockpot as well. Heat on low for 8-10 hours. Strain broth through a sieve to remove all the bits, and simmer. Plunge the noodles into the broth just until soft, then place in a bowl. Gently lay strips of steak over the top of the noodles, and our hot broth over the top. Garnish as desired. 

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