lundi, octobre 09, 2006

Pho (Vietnamese Beef Soup with Rice Noodles) 越南生牛肉粉

Vietnamese Raw Beef Pho

The Pho 越南生牛肉粉 looks oily and if prepared a day in advance the fat can be removed. Except during winter when you'll need it for extra warmth.

There are many Vietnamese in Paris so eating a Pho is something we do from time to time when we eat out. Living away from France now for nearly a decade, I make it at least once every 2-3 weeks because it is easy to make and is very popular with the whole family.

The smell in the kitchen is also fabulous as it's made with lots of ginger and spices. Truly comfort food especially in the colder months.

Raw Beef Pho :

2 kg beef for making soup e.g. Oxtail or Bones
400g beef for steak e.g. Faux-filet, Rumpsteak...(best slightly frozen to allow for easy slicing)
beefballs and innards (optional)
1 large onion picked with a few whole cloves
A few star anises
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp of whole coriander seeds
a few whole green cardamoms
whole peppercorns
1 fennel bulb
Fresh ginger
1 bay leaf
1 celery stalk
a few carrots (optional)
fish sauce
Pot-au-feu or Beef stock cube (optional)

Garnishing :

cooked thick rice noodles
coriander leaves
mint leaves
bean sprouts
raw red onions
lemon/lime juice
red chillies

Boil some water in a pot. When it's boiling, blanche the oxtail pieces in it. Drain the water and rince the meat in cold water. Set aside.

Heat up the soup pot and dry roast a few pieces of fresh ginger together with the picked onion and whole spices. Add in the bay leaf and celery, as well as the hard green parts and leaves of the fennel bulb. The aroma will start to fill up the kitchen.

Remove the whole spices and fill a tea filter with them. Close the bag with kitchen string.

Set aside the fennel bulb.

Pour in hot stock/water (enough to cover the meat). Boil under low-medium heat for about 2 hours or till the oxtail is tender. Turn off the heat, leave to cool overnight.

The next day, skim off the fat from the soup and heat it up again. Cook for an hour or more, add in the carrots and fennel bulb about 30 minutes before serving. Taste and adjust the seasoning by adding in salt and fish sauce. If you wish to have a cleaner soup, pass it through a sieve.

Slice the faux-filet into thin slices. We eat it almost raw so I would just pour the hot soup over it.

Serve the soup with a piece of the oxtail, wide rice noodles, slices of the faux-filet, beefballs and innards, bean sprouts, mint and coriander leaves, chilli, sliced red onion and a squeeze of lemon juice.

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