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Old 01-06-2014, 08:42 PM   #1
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Unhappy Urgent pho disaster

OK, so me and my friends are all pho addicts and have been researching and finally decided to take the plunge and make some for ourselves… None of us have made beef soup from bones before (have made turkey soups using a carcass successfully) but we were pretty confident in the recipe that we found.

We used:
7 lbs of beef soup bones, knuckles and middle pieces with lots of marrow
2 lb round steak with a marrow-ey bone in it
3 huge onions, charred under the broiler
5 inch piece of ginger, charred under the broiler
20 cloves, toasted
8 star anise, toasted
1.5 cinnamon sticks, toasted
10 cloves of garlic

We parboiled the bones and scrubbed the scum off and then put everything all together covered with 6 litres of water. We have now been simmering it for 4 hours and 40 minutes and it tastes like nothing but cinnamon water.

Is it normal at this point for it to be flavourless?
What have we done wrong and what can we possibly to to make it fast like beef?!?!?!

We have already realized that it won't be our dinner tonight, but we are still hoping to salvage it for dinner tomorrow.


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Old 01-06-2014, 08:52 PM   #2
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Did you throw the water out that you par boiled the bones in? I find that a bit peculiar. You may have boiled a lot of flavor out of them by doing this. I have only tried making pho broth once myself and found it to be ok, but nothing like I would eat in a pho place....

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Old 01-06-2014, 09:01 PM   #3
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Yes, we parboiled them and got rid of all the scummy water- as per all of the recipes I have read. We parboiled them quickly and there was a pile of green scum and nasty stuff that came off and then rinsed them. All of the meat, fat, cartilage and marrow was still intact. If we had used the bones without rinsing them, the soup would be full of green foam.
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:03 PM   #4
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Dad’s Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup) | meat loves salt

This is the recipe we used.
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:24 PM   #5
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Par boiling and dumping the gunk is very common is Asian soup making.

Did you add any salt? From the page you gave a link to 1 Tbsp kosher salt (less if using regular table salt). But you do not mention salt.
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:26 PM   #6
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When we tasted, we added salt and fish sauce into the bowl and it did not help. The recipe notes that adding salt before it reduces could make it too salty in the end. I think maybe now that we are well into the fifth hour that it would probably be safe to add salt and fish sauce now.
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:27 PM   #7
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The other thing that we used but I did not note is yellow rock sugar.
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Old 01-07-2014, 06:52 AM   #8
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Looks like you are trying to achieve a type of beef consume. Try looking up a consume recipe for the technique.
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Old 01-07-2014, 07:35 AM   #9
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Indeed, a consume is what you want, but a consume with loads of collagen. This cousin to protien is found in the cartelage and connecting tissues of meat and bones. This is why beef knuckles, and marrow bones are used. The bones should have some meat attached for flavor, as gluten is flavorless. It adds texture.

To make the consume, use a pot chocked full of bones. If the bones are browned in the oven first, it will add richness to the flavor. Simmer for several hours, covered. Remove the bones and discard. Keep the broth boiling. Whip 2 eggs until frothy. Add to the broth. The egg will form a "raft". The raft will collect the particulates and clarify the broth. Remove the raft. Now you have consume. Season with soy sauce, onion, garlic, salt, and ginger. Now you have pho. Serve fresh from the boil and add veggies, and meats to the bowl, letting the hot broth cook them. Serve with bubble tea and suitable sides. Enjoy.

Tip: you can use other types of bones besides beef. Chicken, veal, pork, turkey, lamb, even fish are all good bones to use. For good beef bones, when you purchase steaks, buy them bone-in. Remove the bones and freeze them fo later use in pho.

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Old 01-07-2014, 07:35 AM   #10
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You could try adding some browned ground beef and chopped rehydrated porcini mushrooms. The mushrooms have lots of great umami flavor.

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beef soup bones, ginger, onions, other, round steak

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