The slow cooker makes perfect broth in this Slow Cooker Beef Pho.
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In Search of the Perfect Beef Pho!
My new favorite use for my crockpot or slow cooker is making pho. I adore the complex flavors of a good pho broth and the slow cooker provides that nice and even all day heat that is perfect. I’ve made it my mission to try as many pho recipes as possible and settle on a favorite. Hey, it’s a hard job, but someone has to do it.
After much searching and googling I settled on this Slow Cooker Pho with Eye of Round from Serious Eats as my starting point. The first deviation I made was that instead of oxtails, I had meaty soup bones. Then instead of boiling the bones, I placed them on the baking sheet with the onions and ginger and let them get nice and brown for another layer of flavor.
The other deviation was that instead of eye of round, I used a London broil very thinly sliced. I love that hot broth cooks the beef for you. Unfortunately my grocery store has stopped selling fresh bean sprouts and I didn’t have enough time to sprout my own, so I had to used canned. Not nearly as good as fresh, but will do in a pinch. This was warm, comforting and full of flavor!
- 2 1/2 pounds oxtails
- 1/2 white onion
- 3” piece fresh ginger, peeled
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 5 whole star anise
- 5 whole cloves
- 1 whole cardamom pod
- 9 cups of water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons beef base, such as Better Than Bullion (I didn't use)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1-inch piece yellow rock sugar, broken into bits, or 1 teaspoon sugar
- Kosher salt
- 1 pound dried rice noodles
- 1/2 pound raw eye of round steak, sliced paper-thin
- 1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
- 2 limes, cut into wedges
- 1 bunch cilantro, cleaned
- 1 bunch Thai or Italian basil
- 1 bunch mint
- 2 jalapeños 6 Thai Bird chiles, thinly sliced
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- Hoisin sauce
- Preheat broiler to high.
- Place beef bones, onion, and ginger on foil lined baking sheet. Broil until everything has a nice char, about 8 minutes. Place beef, onion, and ginger in slow cooker.
- Saute the cinnamon, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, star anise, cloves and cardamom pods in a dry skillet over medium high heat until toasted and frangrant. Place in a cheesecloth square and tie up. Add the spice package, the water, beef base, fish sauce, sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt in slow cooker. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
- When you are about ready to eat, cook the noodles per directions leaving them al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water and place in serving bowls. Remove bones and spices from broth and skim off any scum if necessary. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Place thin slices of beef and red onions slices on top of noodles. Ladle over the hot broth. Serve with condiments.