I use the beef back ribs and oxtails because everyone knows that the meat next to the bone is the most flavorful, and with these cuts, ALL the meat is next to the bone. The recipe is pretty simple, but because there’s a lot of good meats and lots of bone, it’s flavorful and well rounded. Here is about 10 pounds of each. I roast the bones and brown/sear the oxtail and beef ribs in grapeseed oil and garlic, then blacken some ginger, blacken two onions, and then fill my 6 gallon pot. I brown 2 pounds of grassfed chuck or brisket and throw that into the pot and let it cook slowly, then put some cinnamon sticks, star anise, coriander, and cloves in a cheesecloth, and let the broth simmer for hours. The beef ribs and oxtail will be ready before the stock will be ready, so you can take them out if you want and cover with a little of the soup so it rehydrates. By simmering as opposed to boiling, the meat will be tender and not seized up from high-heat. Then add fish sauce, salt, sugar.
about 30 pounds of beef for stock
A lot of veg
I top it off with Bos Creek Chuck, sometimes get Bison Meat, Prime Ribeye, and just to be a little gratuitous, a few cuts of Wagyu. I love grassfed meat because you get a real beefy flavor, and so I put these on top or have a small bowl of boiling water to the side to dip it in and get some of the blood/impurities out, and as I work my way to the bottom of the bowl, the taste of the Pho crescendos in fat and depth of flavor when you start eating the meat right off the bone. Remember to skim the stock otherwise you may get meat nightmares (got these when I ate 5 bowls)
Paired with Gewurtzaminer, Vermentino, Cabernet Sauvignon, Ozeki Sake
Here’s another recipe, along the same lines with better directions from ~ 6 months ago
- 5 pounds beef knuckle bones
- 1 pound beef marrow bones
- 3 pounds beef shank (veal is better for a higher gelatin content)
- 8 pounds meaty beef back ribs (whole foods/your local butcher, NON frozen), trimmed
- 2 pounds oxtail (add more than 2 pounds if you want, people devour this)
- blackened ginger, 2 blackened onions
- wagyu chuck roll
- prime short rib
- prime ribeye
- onion, green onion, cilantro, jalapeno, sriracha, bean sprouts, lime, chili, hoisin
I’m not so good at following directions, so forgive me if my directions are misleading. Here are some Rough Directions:
- Blacken 2 onions for a deep rich flavor and 1 medium sized piece of ginger. Blacker is better.
- Heat the knuckles, marrow, and shank at 450F and brown in the oven
- season & Seal the Meaty back ribs on the stove with vegetable oil and some garlic, past golden brown.
- Create or purchase two spice packets containing allspice, clove, cinnamon..
- Put the browned meat in ~ 5 gallons cold water (you want to start from cold so when you boil then turn to simmer (4-5 hours) you extract maximum flavor from the inside of the bones/gelatin.
- Constantly skim impurities + scum throughout the cooking & skim fat at end.
- Add 1/8 cup fish sauce, ~ 1/8 cup sugar / season w/ kosher salt to taste. Taste and adjust.
- You know how to boil noodles, cook them super al dente and later complete with boiling stock.
- Pour boiling water in your serving bowls to heat, then dump out. This will ensure your soup bowl stays hotter, longer.
- Briefly cook raw meat in boiling water to remove blood impurities
- (under the “to complete section”) Add noodles, a beef rib or three per bowl, garnish.
- People will love it, and WARNING! you may love it so much, you will eat more and more and have meat sweats, meat nightmares, but that’s your problem… I have no solution except to drink more beer.