So before anyone asks, no..this was not meant to be a pho recipe. HOWEVER, I will admit that it was the inspiration for this recipe. I’ve been in a search for a great beef stock recipe for a while. In my recent memory Travis (the Hubs) probably eats pho at least 2-3 times a month at a local restaurant. And it’s starting to affect my psyche.
Initially I fought the whole idea of “pho”. I even refused to eat at the particular restaurant he loved. Why? I don’t know..maybe it was because I am a damn good cook, but reluctantly admit that I SUCKED at trying to create the right stock needed to even come close to making pho. The place made me feel like a failure. I’m sure it is sort of like your dish being compared to a mother’s dish that you JUST can’t quite pull off. That kind of failure. The kind that doesn’t hurt you, it pisses you off and sends you on an eternal search for the right ingredients.
Fast forward to my house last week, after going through the mail, I realized I received a late Christmas present! Travis had bought me a subscription to bon appetit magazine and had totally forgotten about it. It was a great surprise and as I poured through the pages, there was an entire section on stock. BEEF stock.. and so that’s where this story really begins.
(Insert weird flashback music here..)
It was particularly cold last week (as it tends to be in TN in January), and so I thought, “Self, it’s cold outside..and I need something to warm my bones.” Something different, and then this magazine came. OK..”I’m making my own stock..and ultimately a spicy Asian noodle dish.” Big talk for a gal who can’t master pho..but has attempted a few times with less than stellar results.
Here is what you are going to need to make the Beef Stock-
- 4-5 lbs of beef bones (find them in the butcher/meat section of the grocery store)
- A few (3-4) stalks of celery cleaned and rough chopped
- 3-4 whole carrots, cleaned and rough chopped
- 1 medium onion quartered
- 1 1/2 TBSP of tomato paste
- 1/3 cup of GOOD olive oil. (I chose a Parmesan and Garlic infused EVOO from Olive Oil Divine)
- 8 good size cloves of garlic, sliced thin
- Bunch of herbs (tied together with twine). I actually used the greens from the carrots, cilantro and flat leaf parsley)
- 3 large dried bay leaves
- 1 Star Anise
- Whole Peppercorns
- Sea Salt to taste
First, you’ll want to preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, line up the beef bones on the sheet and roast for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, pull the baking sheet, with a spoon (or dinner knife) rub the bones down with a little of the tomato paste. Add the veggies along with a little olive oil to a bowl and toss in the remainder of the tomato paste. Mix it all up and place the veggies on the baking sheet with the bones and put them back into the oven for about 15 mins. Side note, I didn’t salt my original veggies, but wish I had. So I’d suggest lighting salting the bones and veggies prior to putting them back into the oven.
While the veggies are roasting, heat the olive oil in a skillet and cook the garlic. You’ll want to move the garlic with a wooden spoon to keep them from burning. Cook about 4-5 minutes on medium and then transfer them to a sieve and drain out the oil.
Now it’s time for a game we call, EVERYBODY In the pool! Pull the baking sheet and place all of the bones and veggies in a stock pot. Add the garlic, herbs, bay leaves, star anise and probably about a tablespoon of the peppercorns. Cover the items with cold water and place on the stove. I personally added enough water to be about 1 inch over the highest item. Bring the water to a boil, reduce to medium and simmer for about 3 to 3 1/2 hours. You may have to skim the surface a few times during the simmer process, in case you get fat that rises to the top.
After simmering for the 3 to 3 1/2 hours or so, strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl (or in my case, another stock pot). I suggest using the broth within a couple of days if you put it in the fridge, but if you want to freeze the broth for future use, it’ll freeze for about 3 months.
SO I had my base..now onto the main act, Spicy Beef Broth Bowl. This is literally the easiest thing ever!
- Rice noodles (prepared according to the package)
- Grilled chicken (I cheated and used frozen, but moving forward this is great for rotisserie chicken leftovers)
- Thinly sliced button mushrooms
- Thinly sliced radish
- Thinly sliced yellow onion
- Chopped cilantro
- Lime slices
Once the noodles and chicken were prepped, I just added everything into the stockpot with the beef broth and it was done..4 hours later! But seriously, we topped our individual portions with a little red chili paste ( hence the spicy) and Travis added some precooked shrimp, because he traditionally loves the meat combo when he orders pho.
And here ya go… a little close-up action.
Because I was had gone “Old Skool, Grandma Style” in the kitchen all day with this recipe, I knew one of two things. It was either going to be a colossal flop or a hit. IT WAS A HUGE HIT.
From the first taste you realized that several hours in the kitchen was WELL worth it. You know how they say chicken soup feeds the soul? Well, they haven’t had my spicy beef broth bowl, because this was the most heavenly dish I have ever made! My Husband’s response? “That spicy beef broth with noodles was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. Thank you for the 4 hours of labor and love!”
Not only did it taste great, I even added the chili paste. Living on the edge! Typically I get everything without spice, but this burn was amazing. Between the crunchy burn of the radish and onion, acid of the lime and the broth..it was just..yeah. I think I want some now.
My only regret? That I didn’t make the broth in large quantities..because we’ll definitely want this again!
Thanks for indulging me tonight, this post was much lengthier than most. I challenge you to make your own stock at home! I know it seems like there are a billion steps, but the great thing is you don’t have to babysit the dish. Just low and slow for a few hours. Believe me, it is totally worth it!
Come on back later this week as I’ll be catching up on a few recipes I worked on last week. Next, I’ll tackle a “tasty” recipe I saw on a post from Facebook. Is it as easy as it looks, is it “tasty”?
Thanks for stopping by! And until next blog, warm wishes and delicious dishes from My Tennessee Kitchen!