Sunday, March 16, 2014

Pho Success!

The broth was perfect this time! I think the key point was to be sure not to skimp on the rock sugar. I'm not saying to use extra, but don't use too little, either. This is hard to be precise about because of rock sugar's irregularity and its coming in hard, discrete rocks. I suppose if you have a scale you can weigh them, but if they're not right, you still have to imprecisely break the rocks. Anyway, it's cooking, not baking, so you don't need to be super precise. Just don't skimp on the rock sugar.

Also of note to discuss is that this time I used oxtail to make the stock. A friend suggested it because of its high gelatin content and its having meat on the bones for flavor. The caveat is of course that oxtail costs more per pound than other parts you could make the soup with. So now that I've gotten this great rendition out, next time I'm going to go back and see if I can get the same result using beef toe plus a cheap slow-cooking cut of beef. One thing I noticed was that the meat on the beef neckbones I used last time were very tender and packed with flavor. So toe for gelatin plus brisket or whatever cut of meat is cheap and slow-cooking (and flavor rich) seems to make sense. I wish I had beef shank readily accessible.

You can see my previous post with other thoughts here.


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