Easy Beef Pho starring Scotch Beef
It’s guest blogger time. And this week *drumroll* we’re welcoming back Rebecca Goodman of Figs & Pigs fame. The food pics in her blog look so scrummy, they make me go weak at the knees. And as you can see above, her Easy Beef Pho is no exception.
I have to admit when I first read the recipe, the word ‘easy’ seemed misplaced – though it’s a lot easier than making genuine Vietnamese Pho (which by all accounts takes about two days’ hard labour, simmering and reducing!). The tricky bit in Rebecca’s version is charring vegetables over an open flame on your stove, but I’ll have a go at anything and I have to say, it’s easier than it sounds and I loved doing it (flashback to bunsen burners at school). Watching my jalapeño bubbling and charring in seconds was strangely gratifying. Ditto the ginger and onion. And charring vegetables really enhances the flavour.
Loads more ingredients go into Rebecca’s Easy Beef Pho to make it so rich and dark, including short beef ribs, marrowbone and bavette steaks. Scotch Beef in any recipe is music to my ears and so Rebecca using it three times makes this meal so meaty, intense and delicious!
Once you’re ready to serve, layer up the bowls with noodles on the bottom, meat from the short ribs on top, pour over the broth and top it all with slices of steak. Finally, present the plate of fresh, crunchy, zingy herbs and liberally sprinkle (it’s easy to make it look as good as Rebecca’s!).
Let me know how you get on with it. I was so inspired that I got blethering about Vietnamese food with my other half and we looked up Vietnam on my laptop… and now I’m thinking holidays. Paddy fields… mountainous islands… turquoise seas… and finding some great local chef cooking up his own delicious Beef Pho. I’d love to taste it on location. Sigh.
Easy Beef Pho
- 500g good quality beef stock
- 290g scotch beef short rib cut into pieces (approx one short rib)
- 200g marrowbone
- 2 bavette steaks
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 onion, peeled and halved
- 2 inch piece of ginger
- 1 whole jalapeño
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 cloves
- 2 star anise
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- ½ tsp fennel seeds
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tsps sugar
- 2 tsps fish sauce
- Juice of ½ lime
- 2 portions flat rice noodles
For the herb plate – to serve
- 1 jalapeño thinly sliced
- 1 lime in quarters
- Handful of bean sprouts
- 2 spring onions sliced
- Small bunch thai basil
- Small bunch coriander
- Small bunch mint
- Sriracha sauce
- Hoisin sauce
In a large pan add the oil and heat over a medium heat, seal the beef short ribs on each side until browned, and set aside.
On the hob, using tongs, char the onion, ginger and one whole jalapeño on the open flame until nicely blackened.
In a dry frying pan, gently toast all the spices for 1 min. Fish out the cinnamon stick and star anise, then put the rest of the spices in a pestle and mortar and grind to a coarse powder.
In the pan you used to seal the short ribs, add the stock, charred veg, cinnamon, anise, spice mix, short ribs and marrowbone. Cover with water, stir and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally and topping up with water if needed.
When the short ribs are tender, remove from the pan along with the marrowbone, cinnamon and anise. Pull any remaining meat off the ribs and place back in the stock. Add a pinch of salt, sugar, fish sauce and lime juice to the stock, cooking for another 5 mins.
In a separate pan, bring some water to the boil and cook the noodles until tender. Drain and set aside.
Place a griddle pan on a medium heat and fry the bavette steaks for 2 mins on each side. Leave to rest for a couple of minutes and slice into thin strips.
Now create your herb plate with thai basil, mint, coriander, bean sprouts, spring onions, lime and jalapeño pepper. Fill two small bowls with hoisin and sriracha sauce for serving at the table.
Take two large bowls and distribute the noodles. Add some short rib meat and cover with stock, top off with slices of bavette steak. Let guests add their own herbs and sauces.