Jaden suggested to make Pho Ga (Chicken Pho) but she also gave us other options should we decide not to make the chicken pho. I ask my family w/c would they like me to make, a unanimous decision was made...Pho Tai Gan (Rear Steak, Tendon Pho) which is one of my fave at the Vietnamese restaurant. The other fave of ours is Bo Ko Ca Rot (Spicy Beef and Carrot Stew)
I then decided to cook this specific pho using the slow cooker, primarily because i have no time to babysit the long and slow cooking process by using the conventional method on the stove top. Check Jaden’s crockpot pho recipe HERE . The recipe serves 4.
I followed Jaden’s basic broth recipe and then made some tweaking as i went ahead w/ the rest of the process. Since I'm fortunate enough to have access to some authentic ingredients, i challenged myself to make this pho as authentic as possible.
The broth you make is the success to your Pho, so this stage is crucial.
BEEF BONES- I used 5 lbs. shin bones (Asian Markets sells this type of bones). These bones has cartilage, marrows and some meat attached to it.
Par-boil the bones on high for few minutes just to get rid of the those scums (those grayish/brownish stuff!) Rinse your bones briefly. I know what you're thinking..what? rinse and throw the broth? yes!!! You get the "bone goodness" when you boil them for a longer period. Slow cooking the bones will produce clear broth.
TOAST YOUR SPICES - Toasting will bring out the oil of the spices and for surely add depth to your broth flavor. These are the standard pho spices sans the black cardamom w/c i don't have. If you will notice i used Saigon Cinnamon
this is the type of cinnamon used for pho but regular cinnamon will be okay although the Saigon kind has an intense cinnamon flavor.
AT THIS STAGE YOU'LL PUT THE PAR BOILED BONES, SPICES, SEASONINGS, ONIONS AND GINGER INTO THE SLOW COOKER THEN ADD WATER ENOUGH TO COVER THE BONES. SET YOUR SLOW COOKER ON LOW AND LET COOK/SIMMER FOR 8 HRS.
THIS IS THE BASE OF A WONDERFUL PHO.
SO WHILE THE BONES WERE SIMMERING. I BOILED THE TENDONS SEPARATELY WITH SOME OF THE SPICES UNTIL COOKED. THEN SLICED THINLY.
SO W/ THE BROTH READY AND THE TENDONS SLICED THINLY WE ARE READY TO MOVE ON TO THE ASSEMBLY OF THE PHO TAI GAN.
HARD BOILED QUAIL EGGS
NOW THE PIECE DE RESISTANCE !
YOUR BROTH SHOULD BE STEAMING HOT WHEN YOU POUR IT TO THE BOWL. THE BROTH WILL COOK THE VERY THINLY SLICED STEAK.
NOW WHEN IT COMES TO PHO, I'M A PURIST...I DON'T LIKE TO ADD CONDIMENTS OR SAUCE FLAVORINGS SUCH AS HOISIN SAUCE, SRIRACHA ETC. I LIKE TO SAVOR THE WELL SEASONED BROTH. I ADD THAI BIRD CHILI IF I WANT IT SPICY NOTHING ELSE!
Thanks, Jaden for the Pho-tastic challenge. This was spot on, it was just like the restaurant's Pho! Pls. also check my Apple Butter, French Vanilla Ice Cream Wanton Napoleons HERE