I was loosely following a recipe for Vietnamese Pho broth and it really came out fantastic. There were two things I learned as I was making this.
One, don’t skimp on the onions. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like onions, if you like the dark rich broth you’d get in a Vietnamese restaurants, you’ll need the onions. You will end up straining them all out later, so don’t worry and just go for it.
Two, and this I consider the big ‘secret’ I learned by the experience is to roast your bones. For me, I used a couple pounds of large bones and a couple pounds of beef back ribs for soup. That way I had a good portion of bones and a good portion of meat too. You could go all beef back rib, but 50% cheap stuff works too 🙂 Put it all in a pan with a couple halved onions on the bottom and roast it all. If you want, put a little water in the bottom of the pan so the onions don’t burn too much, then cook at 350 degrees for 2 hours. The difference in flavor compared to boiling is phenomenal.
What was even more impressive, is after I was all done boiling the broth for most of the night, is that the meat is still delicious and the connecting tissue rendered perfectly.
The next time I make any kind of beef soup – minestrone, beef and been, vegetable beef… I’m going to try roasting the bones first and see if the intense flavor works too (I suspect it will!)
Happy cooking! 🙂