It’s no secret that for the last 10 months or so I’ve been living up in Vancouver, BC for visual effects work. It really is a beautiful place right on the foothills of the mountains to the North and at the same time right on the ocean to the West. Alton Brown considers Vancouver to be just barely behind New York City in terms of the quality of food and restaurants and from what I’ve experienced so far up here, I would have to agree.
Vancouver also has quite a large Asian population and with that, lots of quality Asian restaurants. Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, some of the best and cheapest sushi I’ve ever had…you name it, there’s a restaurant for it. A few blocks from my house is a Nepalese place which I’d never heard of before.
My neighborhood also borders Little Saigon which as you can probably guess, contains some great Vietnamese food. My favorite being beef pho (pronounced ‘Fuh’). Pho is an incredibly flavorful vietnamese noodle soup. Typically served with fatty cuts of beef like chuck and even at some places you can get beef tendon, along with raw leaner cuts, thinly sliced (our Weston meat slicer was invaluable for this) and covered with piping hot broth then garnished with lime wedge, bean sprouts and thai basil. It’s also popular to add some hoisin and sriracha sauces.
Pho very quickly became one of my favorite dishes since I moved up to Vancouver. It’s really the perfect lunch for a rainy day and let’s be honest, there are plenty of those up here. I’ve wanted to make a version of my own for months and now that I’m not working 90+ hour weeks anymore, I finally was able to.
A few months back I broke down and bought myself an Instant Pot. It seems like in the last year or so, everyone from Nom Nom Paleo to The Domestic Man have been ranting and raving at how great this one piece of equipment is. They aren’t lying. I love that it’s really 7 tools in 1. The two that I use the most are the slow cooker (obviously) and the pressure cooker.
The pressure cooker is now my favorite way to make bone broth. Set it to high pressure and cook for 2 hours. Boom! Bone broth in hours vs a whole day. So when I set out to make pho, I knew the way to go would be in the pressure cooker. If you don’t have a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, don’t sweat it, there will also be crock pot directions included as well.
- 1 lb chuck roast
- 3 lbs beef short ribs
- 1 onion slice in half lengthwise
- 1 hand of ginger, sliced in half lengthwise
- 3 tbs fish sauce
- 6 star anise pods
- 4 cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 2 tbs coconut sugar
- 1 tbs coconut vinegar
- 3 pieces kombu
- sea salt to taste
- 3 cups pho noodles (use kelp noodles or zoodles if you don't eat rice)
- 1/2 lb beef filet or filet tail, partially frozen
- Place sliced onions and ginger on a foil lined baking sheet and broil in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until you get a nice deep char. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Place beef chuck and short ribs in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and boil for 5-10 minutes. Drain beef and set aside. This is an optional step but will give you a much cleaner broth.
- Place star anise, cloves, cinnamon sticks and coriander seeds in a dry cast iron pan and toast on the stove over medium heat until fragrant. About 5 minutes.
- Add short ribs, chuck, spices, onion, ginger, coconut sugar, coconut vinegar, kombu and fish sauce to crock pot or pressure cooker and cover with water. If using pressure cooker, cook on high for 2 hours. If using crock pot, cook on low for 10-12 hours.
- Remove beef from pot and set in refrigerator to allow to cool completely.
- Strain remaining broth and refrigerate until needed.
- Remove pho broth from refrigerator and bring to boil over high heat.
- While broth is heating up, remove beef from refrigerator.
- Slice chuck thinly across the grain and set aside. I used my meat slicer by Weston as it makes it super easy and uniform.
- Remove short rib meat from the bone and shred with a fork. Set aside.
- Using a meat slicer, slice beef filet tail extremely thin, across the grain.
- Place noodles, chuck slices, short ribs pieces and filet tail slices in a soup bowl.
- Pour piping hot broth over beef and noodles.
- Garnish with bean sprouts, thai basil, hoisin sauce, sriracha sauce, and a thai chili.
- Squeeze juice from lime wedge over pho and enjoy.
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