If you’ve avoided making Pho soup because it seemed to be difficult, I think you might be tempted to give this slow cooker version a try. Most of the steps can be prepared ahead of time, including the condiment platter that you will want to serve alongside the soup.
This is my Americanized version of Pho (pronounced fuh), many times referred to as the national soup of Vietnam. I’m certain that there as as many versions of Pho soup as there are vegetable soup. While this version is made with beef, it can also be made with chicken or seafood and be just as delicious.
The bottom line to a good Pho is the stock which I suggest you make ahead in the Crock Pot a day or so before you plan to serve the soup. It can even be frozen for a later use if you prefer. You will need a large 6 quart slow cooker for this.Vietnamese Pho Noodle Soup with Beef
Serves: approximately 6
For the stock:
6 pounds oxtails bones (or meaty soup bones)
3 medium onions, cut in half 1/2 pound ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 pound beef brisket
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 Tablespoons coriander seeds
1 Tablespoon fennel seeds
4 star anise
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 small stick cinnamon
2 carrots, peeled and julienned
1 Tablespoon salt (or less)
2 pounds dried rice noodles (or fresh if you can find them)
Bring a large stockpot filled with water to boil over high heat leaving room for the oxtails. When the water boils, add the bones and boil for a good 8-10 minutes. Drain and rinse the bones.
Place the ginger and onions on a sheet pan and broil in the oven on high until lightly charred, about 8 minutes. Place in the Crock Pot.
Lightly toast the coriander, fennel, star anise, cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon in a skillet until fragrant. Add to the Crock Pot along with the salt and fish sauce..
Add the beef bones to the Crock Pot and fill with clean water. Add the brisket and carrots.
Cook on LOW 8-10 hours. (I usually cook mine all day while I am at work or overnight while asleep.)
Remove the meat from the stock and shred. Strain the stock and discard the solid. I refrigerate the stock and shredded meat overnight. The next day, I remove the fat from the stock and return the stock to the Crock Pot allowing time for it to heat (HIGH) thoroughly with the shredded brisket. You can just reheat in a stock pot if you desire.
For the soup:
1/2 pound flank steak, sirloin, or tenderloin sliced very think (put in the freezer for about 15 minutes before slicing)
Cook rice noodles according to directions.
1 large onion sliced paper thin
2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 cups bean sprouts
1 or 2 limes, cut into wedges2-3 red or green Thai or serrano chilies, seeded and sliced into rings
(These can be prepared a day ahead.)
Assorted fresh herbs, chopped: cilantro, mint, Thai basil (chop just before serving)
Thai fish sauce
Red chili garlic paste
Sriracha hot chili sauce
Put the onions, scallions, sprouts, limes, and herbs on a platter or in small bowls and allow everyone to garnish their own soup bowls.
When read to serve, line up the soup bowls on a counter and distribute the hot broth and noodles evenly among them. Add the raw, thinly sliced beef. The hot stock will cook the beef in the bowls. Season to taste and enjoy the experience.
Thanks for joining me for this week’s edition of Crock Pot Wednesday. Be sure to link up for a chance to win a Bed Bath and Beyond gift card to be given away at the end of November.
Tuesdays at the Table
Here’s what is in my slow cooker tonight – the eventual stock for our Thanksgiving chicken and dressing. My house is gonna’ smell simply awesome in the morning:)