Some simple tricks and tips to take your Beef Pho bone broth to the next level.
First and foremost, we always say that there is no such thing as a bad Pho, and we absolutely want to encourage everyone to grab any of the many recipes online to make yourself some beautiful and nutritious bone broth for you and your family to love.
But if you're looking for that little edge, something to really wow your guest, check out these tips for a professional edge to yourPho Broth.
1. Clean it. We mean it!
Clean your bones and if you’re really keen, bring it to the boil once, rinse off and then bring to the boil again for the long haul. This is all about removing a heap of the impurities which scum up to the top before you go the long simmer.
2. Get roasted!
Roast your bones – it results in the maillard reaction – caramelisation of the meat proteins giving a richer flavour and also that rich browned off colour. And don’t forget to burn off your onion and ginger. That's a given.
3. Skim the scum.
As you simmer, you’ll see scum and impurities rising to the top. These should be skimmed as you go. It is essentially just denatured proteins, -flavourless and harmless - but it's just visually unattractive and we all know we eat with our eyes. It's worth noting that these impurities come from the meat and not the bone.
4. Can’t stand the heat.
We love a really low simmer, so the little bits are convecting around, but there is only a slight ripple on the surface. It helps to keep the bone and meat in tact leaving a super clear instalicious broth.
If you do accidentally (or intentionally) boil the soup too vigorously resulting in a cloudy broth all is not lost. Try the eggwhite trick used to make consume! (https://www.greatbritishchefs.com/how-to-cook/how-to-make-consomme)
5. Time is your Friend!
Every Vietnamese family knows 2nd day Pho is better than 1st day Pho. 3rd day Pho is better than 2nd day Pho. No pot of Pho ever lasts 4 days but I'm sure that would be EVEN BETTER. It's just down to the breaking down of the gelatins in the meat and bones adding to the viscosity in the broth. So if you’ve put enough bones in but the broth still doesn’t feel deep and mouthy enough… just give it some time.
6. Don’t overlook the Chook!
Look, we all love a good deep beef broth, chicken bones add another layer of flavour and richness into the broth mellowing things out that little bit which some palates might prefer.
7. Go Fish. Sauce.
Fish sauce is like salt. You can use regular table salt for cooking, you can use Kocher salt, or you can go for the Himalayan rock salt. They all have their own impact on flavour, and you just have to decide what's worth it.
The usual go to brand for Pho is "squid" brand. It's great value, consistent, and easy to access from most asian grocery stores. If you want to up the anti, go for the 3 crabs brand. It's pricier, but there is a higher proportion of fermented fish giving you additional depth of flavour. Make sure you adjust your recipe for the different flavours!
There is actually a version which requires no salt and only uses fish sauce for saltiness. It's pretty lux!
And there you have it! Try some or all of these tips next time you're making your broth and you'll be rewarded for the extra effort! And don't forget that if you get that spur of the moment craving, hit us up at the Dinner Club to experience our very own pimped up Pho broth.
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