WTPh… This is Phokin Delicious…

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This is an exciting dish for me. I am a soup lover first, but I am pho phonatic!!! There is something amazing about the savoriness of pho that few soups can touch.

Pho originated in Northern Vietnam early in the 20th century, but is believed to have been inspired by a French dish, pot-au-feu (beef stew). A peasant dish in simplicity, there is nothing simple about how this soup pleases your palate. Traditional ingredients, beef meat and bones, herbs, spices, water (soon to be broth) and noodles.

Yes, I said noodles. And, this is one of the dishes I missed most when I went paleo as I typically would eat pho once a week. Traditionally made with rice vermicelli, even with these noodles, it is a healthier option than any gluten containing wheat based noodle. I finally found a grain free substitute at our Asian market. Kelp noodles. Yes, seaweed noodles. They are made from kelp and sodium alginate (a salt extracted from brown seaweed), and are excellent in soups, salads and stir fry dishes. You should be able to find them at any local Asian grocer and even sometimes at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. They are fat free, gluten free and very low in carbs as well as being mineral rich and a great natural source of iodine. Try em, trust me…

Ingredients:
2 lbs Chuck Roast, cut into cubes
2 1/2 – 3 lbs Short ribs on the bone
1 Pkg Beef marrow bones
3 Cups Chicken stock
3 Tablespoons Coconut oil
2 Yellow onions diced
8 stalks of Celery roughly chopped
4 Star anise
2 Cinnamon sticks
10 Cloves
1 Tablespoon Lemon grass
a pinch of Coriander
a pinch of Chinese 5 spice
7 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 good sized chunk of Ginger, cut into thick slices
2 Bay leaves
1/4 Cup of Fish sauce
enough water to finish filling the Dutch oven
big square of Cheese cloth

Garnish:
2-3 slices fresh jalapeño
Chopped Green onions
Chopped fresh Cilantro
Chopped fresh Basil
Shredded Kale or Spinach

Method:
1. Place star anise, cinnamon sticks, cloves, lemon grass, ginger, coriander, 5 spice, and bay leaves into cheese cloth. Tie it up into a sack with some kitchen string and set aside.

2. Pre heat the oven to 450 degrees, and in a cast iron skillet (if you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can use a cookie sheet covered in tin foil) place the marrow bones Roast the bones for about 20-25 minutes until the bones are a little browned and some of the marrow has melted out of the middle.

3. While the marrow bones are roasting heat a Dutch oven on med-high heat, and starting with the first tablespoon of coconut oil brown the chuck in batches, making sure there is a nice crust on all sides. Continue adding oil as needed setting each batch aside in a bowl as you finish. Do the same with the short ribs being sure to brown on all sides including the bones.

3. Brown onions until just translucent and add the chicken stock. Scrape the bottom of the Dutch oven getting all the bits incorporated into the stock. Add the celery, garlic, marrow bones and liquid, browned meat and any juices that are in that bowl, fish sauce, and sack of spices.

4. Finish up by filling the Dutch oven nearly the rest of the way with water. Bring to a rolling boil, lower heat to a simmer and cook 4-5 hours or until all the marrow has melted out of the middle of the bones.

5. Get a bowl. A BIG bowl. To serve, add spinach or kale to bottom of bowl, top with pho, and garnish as you’d like with sliced jalapeños, cilantro, basil, and green onions. It’s best when it’s piping hot! Eat up and enjoy!

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