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what happened to my pho?

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I decided to make beef pho in a crockpot this weekend because I had company and was short on time to tend the stove. Usually I do it on the stove for hours but I just threw it all into the crockpot and set it overnight for about 12 hours. I used several oxtails and some soup bones and all my usual seasonings. When I tasted it later in the day, it tasted like dirty dish water and nothing like it does when I do it on the stove top. Maybe it was an issue with how long it took the come to a boil? I think it must have taken a good 4-5 hours to come to a simmer. That sounds like a long time in the bacteria breeding zone. I don't know. It just tasted awful.

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  1. Do you normally skim the broth/stock when you make it on the stove top?

    3 Replies
      1. re: bw2082

        If you didn't skim it in the crock pot, then all of the excess protein and various other junk will be incorporated into the broth instead of removed....and most of that stuff is quite bitter (and also very cloudy looking). My bet is that's what made your broth taste off. I'd think letting it come just to a boil on the stove and skimming it well, then putting it in the crock pot to cook the rest of the way would solve the issue.

        1. re: ccbweb

          I guess I should have done that prior to throwing the oxtails into the crock pot but time was short. My broth was surprisingly clear although that was because the scum settled to the bottom. until perturbed by a spoon.

    1. Most pho recipes recommend that you boil out the impurities (blood, scum, etc), then toss out that boiling water and wash the bones...only then can you proceed to the actual stock-making simmer.

      Off-topic...oxtails are "too good" for pho...but that's just me talking. I love oxtails.

      1 Reply
      1. re: fmed

        that's what I normally do but I was short on time and just threw the stuff into the crock pot. Oh well. I guess that's the price for laziness.