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Pho - to roast or not to roast the bones?

groover808 Aug 10, 2011 09:24 PM

So my mom recently showed me her recipe, I've attached it below.

Question though: It's not traditional, but I think roasting maybe 1/2 the bones and doing 1/2 just in the pot would give it a more beefy flavor. I don't want to make the broth too dark, so doing 1/2 is my fix for that. Do you still have to boil before/after roasting to rid impurities? Has anyone tried roasting bones for pho, how does it taste?

Pho Broth

- Do an initial boil of impurities of beef bones (with and without marrow) and boneless beef shank

- Add beef bones and boneless beef shank to stock pot of water. My mom also likes to add a chicken stock, its a bit sweeter but deviates a bit from a pure "beef pho". We used some stock I made from roasted chicken carcass and froze previously.

- Char in toaster oven or broiler a whole onion and 4 inch nub of ginger sliced in half (don't burn)

- Once stockpot is at a boil, add charred onion and ginger. Add some fish sauce.

- Simmer for 1.5 hours, remove boneless beef shank. Set aside and slice to top pho when served.

- Add pho spice packet which can be found at local Vietnamese market http://www.amazon.com/Saigon-Chinese-...

- Simmer for a couple more hours to extract flavor from bones. Season with additional fish sauce for saltiness and maybe some rock sugar if desired.

- Allow to cool, then refrigerate

Some tips I'll try next time:
- Submerge cooked boneless beef shank in cold water to cool to keep it moist and from darkening
- Chef friend said to add peeled asian pear for sweetness and mellow out soup

  1. babette feasts Aug 10, 2011 09:35 PM

    In the cooking class I took outside of Hoi An, we grilled the bones lightly over fire. Don't recall if it was wood or charcoal, but considering that most poor Asians don't have ovens for roasting, grilling for flavor makes sense.

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