*I’m a member of the Beef Expert Bureau. All opinions are my own.
This Easy Beef Pho Bar was inspired by my trip to Aspen last fall. I attended Live Well 2016 hosted by The Beef Checkoff where we learned about the positive role of beef in a healthy lifestyle. As most of you know, that read my blog, I’m a beef-loving girl. I’ve always been a huge fan of pho, but I never made it at home. I’m really not sure why I waited to long to experiment with this incredible dish. Maybe because I rarely have hours to spend in the kitchen to wait for the real deal.
Traditional pho is prepared by slow cooking beef bones, containing the marrow (oxtail, shins, leg bones, etc) along with meatier beef cuts like chuck, brisket, etc and aromatics to create an amazingly rich broth. I was smitten at the first spoonful of authentic Vietnamese Pho. A simple and unpretentious dish with such an elegant and complex flavor & texture profile.
It wasn’t until I was served beef pho in a “build your own bowl” style at Live Well did I desire to make this myself. The set-up was so simple. They had a large pot of beef broth, a separate pot of warm, cooked rice noodles, cooked sliced flank steak (still nice a red in the middle…how I like it) and lots of bowls of add-ins, like bean sprouts, shredded carrots, homemade sweet and sour pickles (those were amazing), fresh jalapeños, chopped cilantro, etc. It was healthy, simple and brilliant and I knew that I had to recreate it when I got home.
It’s been a few months, but this delicious meal finally made it on the menu. You can also make this pho with very thinly sliced sirloin tip roast, it’s a lean and affordable cut to substitute for the flank. The meat in this dish cooks in the hot broth, so it’s nice and fork-tender.
- 1½ lbs flank steak
- 1 large onion, halved
- 2-3 inch piece fresh ginger root
- 2 (32 oz) cartons beef stock
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 stalk of lemongrass, trimmed and minced
- 2 tbsp soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 star anise pods
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 tsp green Tabasco
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 12 oz rice noodles, cooked according to package directions
- 1½ cups shredded carrots
- 3-4 limes, cut into wedges
- 2-3 jalapeños, sliced
- *optional- 2 cups bean sprouts
- *optional- hoisin sauce for drizzling
- Put flank steak in the freezer for 30 mins-1 hour to make it easier to slice.
- While flank is freezing, place the onion and ginger on a small roasting pan and broil for 20-25 minutes, turning occasionally until charred on all sides
- Allow onion and ginger to cool, then peel off outer charred layer.
- After meat is chilled, slice into very thin strips
- Heat oil in a dutch oven on medium heat.
- Cook garlic and lemongrass until soft, about 5 minutes
- Add onion, ginger, stock, soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar, star anise, cloves, tabasco and cinnamon and bring to a boil
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered for 20 minutes.
- Strain and discard the solid ingredients, reserving the broth.
- Return the broth to low heat and add the sliced beef to the pot.
- The pho is ready when the meat is no longer pink (the heat from the broth cooks the meat very quickly)
- Divide the noodles, evenly between 6 bowls, ladle the pho on top and add your favorite toppings for garnish.
The fun part of setting out a variety of topping options in your beef pho bar, is that everyone can build their own bowl, because it’s fun to customize your meal. 🙂