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All phở one…

It’s been stupefyingly cold here for what seems like weeks now, I’ve been totally maxed out at work, and, as a final injustice, I’ve gotten sick twice within a span of three weeks. Bleh.

Of course, all of which means it must be time for comfort food, right? In this case, phở. Yes, those funny accent marks mean it’s pronounced more like ‘fuh’ than ‘foe,’ but you knew that already, didn’t you?

I used this recipe, and damn if it wasn’t delicious. I tweaked the recipe somewhat – I used about 1T of canola oil when roasting the meat and spices instead of the recommended 2 ounces of lard, and I wound up using a lot of meat with bones when making the broth: meaty soup bones, a hunk of beef shank on the bone, and bone-in beef short ribs. I let the broth sit in the fridge overnight, and because of all the bones it came out like cinnamon-and-anise scented beef Jell-O. Yum. Yes, the process is kind of a pain in the ass, but still – for results like these, it is totally worth it. The only change I’d make would be to use an actual roasting pan – I roasted everything in the same Dutch oven that I made the actual stock in, so I didn’t caramelize the onion and ginger as much as I would have liked. Still, it makes for a fine, fine stock indeed.

I found fresh phở noodles (less soaking time than dried rice sticks), and we served it with diced shallots, sliced Thai bird peppers (woo! hot!), bean sprouts, lime wedges, hoisin sauce, cilantro & mint. Somehow my Thai basil didn’t make it into my shopping basket (that, or I’ll find it decaying in the back of the fridge in a couple of weeks), but we really didn’t miss it.

Two thumbs up. We’ll definitely be making this again.

[edited to add: I must clarify that 'stupefyingly cold' in Seattle would pass for 'pleasant harbinger of Spring' any other place I've ever lived. Here, however, it's 'depths of bleakest winter.' Go figure.]

14 Responses to “All phở one…”

  1. karen m Says:

    Oooh, that recipe looked good! I think I might try oxtails instead, only because they’re pretty easy to find here and I wouldn’t have to fight the dog for them the way we would meat-laden bones.

    How did The Boy like it? Did he try some?

  2. protected static Says:

    He loved it, but then he’s always liked stuff braised ‘red-cooked’ style, which also uses cinnamon & star anise.

    I cannot recommend the recipe enough; I’m considering making a mondo-huge batch of the stock to freeze…

  3. karen m Says:

    Oooh, that recipe looked good! I think I might try oxtails instead, only because they're pretty easy to find here and I wouldn't have to fight the dog for them the way we would meat-laden bones.

    How did The Boy like it? Did he try some?

  4. protected static Says:

    He loved it, but then he's always liked stuff braised 'red-cooked' style, which also uses cinnamon & star anise.

    I cannot recommend the recipe enough; I'm considering making a mondo-huge batch of the stock to freeze…

  5. nick23232 Says:

    awesome! I was just looking at how to do this the other day. I’m refering to the code formatting tool that you provided a link to in this post.

    Sorry.. this comment if for a post you made on your blogger dot com blog. I wasted 5 minutes trying to find a way to comment. Pissing me offf…

  6. nick23232 Says:

    awesome! I was just looking at how to do this the other day. I'm refering to the code formatting tool that you provided a link to in this post.

    Sorry.. this comment if for a post you made on your blogger dot com blog. I wasted 5 minutes trying to find a way to comment. Pissing me offf…

  7. Doug Says:

    I really need to do this one of these days . . . although maybe I should try some real pho first to see what I’m shooting for. Back in the day when we lived near Vietnamese restaurants, I was addicted to banh mit, and never tried the pho!

  8. Doug Says:

    I really need to do this one of these days . . . although maybe I should try some real pho first to see what I'm shooting for. Back in the day when we lived near Vietnamese restaurants, I was addicted to banh mit, and never tried the pho!

  9. protected static Says:

    I’d say go for it, and don’t worry about not having had the real thing – there are so many versions of ‘the real thing’ that there’s almost nothing that’s authoritative. Just don’t mess around with the recipe too much the first time you make it. ;-)

    This particular recipe is a lot more fragrant, and the spices are a lot more pronounced, than most versions I’ve had. I’ve been told that from the description it sounds more like a Southern Vietnamese version than the classic Hanoi version.

  10. protected static Says:

    I'd say go for it, and don't worry about not having had the real thing – there are so many versions of 'the real thing' that there's almost nothing that's authoritative. Just don't mess around with the recipe too much the first time you make it. ;-)

    This particular recipe is a lot more fragrant, and the spices are a lot more pronounced, than most versions I've had. I've been told that from the description it sounds more like a Southern Vietnamese version than the classic Hanoi version.

  11. Doug Says:

    The other alarming thing about that recipe is the incredible volume of it. I know I could freeze the leftovers . . . but the leftovers would doubtless go the route of all of my leftovers.

    “WTF is this? It’s all like gray or something. With bits suspended in it. Bits of what, I suppose? Well, it’s trash now.

  12. protected static Says:

    True – it did make a tremendous quantity of soup, and we did wind up throwing a bunch out. Still, the broth is absolutely incredible, so you could probably get away with making a half-quantity of the actual phở and keep the freeze the rest to keep as a braising liquid… That’s probably what I’ll do the next time I make it (and I will be making this again).

  13. Doug Says:

    The other alarming thing about that recipe is the incredible volume of it. I know I could freeze the leftovers . . . but the leftovers would doubtless go the route of all of my leftovers.

    <blockquote>"WTF is this? It's all like gray or something. With bits suspended in it. Bits of what, I suppose? Well, it's trash now.</blockquote>

  14. protected static Says:

    True – it did make a tremendous quantity of soup, and we did wind up throwing a bunch out. Still, the broth is absolutely incredible, so you could probably get away with making a half-quantity of the actual phở and keep the freeze the rest to keep as a braising liquid… That's probably what I'll do the next time I make it (and I will be making this again).

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