My first attempt at beef pho. If you haven’t made pho before, I would recommend trying Pho Ga first. Neither recipe is difficult, but the Pho Ga is a little easier and a little more straight forward. And less messy. I would also check out Cuong Can Cook’s video down below (See Source.)
~2-2.5 lbs of beef bones (I used ~2 lbs of beef bones and ~1 lb of oxtail
1 yellow onion
1 palm sized piece of ginger
1/2 cup of fish sauce
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
packet of pho spices
This was one of the items available at my local Asian Market. $3.00 for 5 spice packets.https://www.amazon.com/Pho-Hoa-Beef-Noodle-Spices/dp/B003GRMUCUThe filter bag becomes really fragile after the cooking process. Use a ladle to remove the packet as to not break the spice bag during removal.
Proteins: Sliced beef from the shabu shabu section, bo vien (beef/tendon meatballs), brisket, tendon, tripe (whatever you desire)
In the Instant Pot (on saute) or a stock pot on the stove, bring the beef bones/oxtail and water to a boil. Boil for 10-15 minutes. You want to boil the beef bones until it releases the fat/gunk. Once boiled, set aside the beef bones/oxtail and dump the remaining water. With the remaining bones, rinse and gently clean with clean water.
Over direct heat gas flame, char the whole onion and ginger. If a gas burner is not available, you can use cut the onion and ginger in half and broil in the oven.
Place beef bones, fish sauce, sugar, charred onion and ginger, salt, and spice packet into Instant Pot and fill with water to a little under the max line in the Instant Pot. Close the lid, set vent knob to Sealing, and use Manual (High Pressure) for 60 minutes.
While the broth is cooking, slice green onion and cilantro into small pieces; and prepare any other items. Do this step at a later time if you are pre-making beef pho for a later time.
After the 60 minute cooking time elapses, allow a NPR (Natural Pressure Release). If you do a Quick Release, the Instant Pot will make a mess with this recipe. Once the pressure is released, remove the lid and carefully fish out the spice packet, onion, and ginger. The spice packet is very delicate and can break easily if you aren’t careful. If there is any fat or gunk at the top of the broth, now is the time to remove it. Taste and season broth as needed with fish sauce and/or salt.For the best results, allow the broth to cool, then place the Instant Pot inner pot in the refrigerator overnight. As the broth cools, the fat will form at the top and will be easier to remove.
In a separate pot, boil some water, Using a noodle strainer if available, boil the dry pho noodles about 5 to 20 seconds until it is loose and pliable. Place into soup bowl.
Add your proteins on top of the rice noodles.
Garnish with additional green onion and cilantro. Pour the boiling soup broth into bowl. If the noodles are cold prior to adding the broth, consider microwaving the bowl for 30-45 secs prior to adding the broth.
Garnish with your favorite pho condiments (green onions, cilantro, lime, Sriracha, etc.)
Prep: 60 minutes (most of this time is waiting)
Cooking Time: Most of the time is the eggs soaking.
3 tea bags of black tea
3 star anise
2 cinnamon sticks (~3 inches each)
1 tablespoon of whole peppercorns
1-2 tablespoon of brown sugar
2 cups of soy sauce
5 cups of water
eggs (easily can do a dozen, if not more)
Soft boil eggs.Prior to cooking, leave the eggs out at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Place the trivet in the Instant Pot and place the eggs on it. Fill water to just under the trivet. Set the Instant Pot to Manual for 4 minutes on High Pressure. Once done, quick release and immediately put the eggs into an ice bath. The ice bath immediately stops them from cooking.
To prepare the eggs, take a spoon and gently evenly crack the shells of the eggs. Emphasis on gently. The Instant Pot has a way of preparing the eggs in such a way that eggs are easily de-shelled. I actually had a whole egg de-shell itself while it was being boiled in the marinade.
Dump out the old water, and lightly clean the Instant Pot liner.
Add 5 cups of water and bring to boil (Saute on High). Cover with a lid to boil water quicker. Add the tea bags and brew for 5 minutes.
Next. add the peppercorn, brown sugar, star anise, and cinnamon and brew for another 5 minutes.
Add soy sauce and bring to boil.
Once at a boil, add the cracked eggs back in and continue to boil for 5 minutes.
Lower the Instant Pot to a simmer. To do this, press the Keep Warm/Cancel button, and then set for Saute on Low (Saute, Pressure [Set to Low by hitting the minus (-) button], wait 10 seconds). Cover 2/3 of the Instant Pot with a lid to keep the marinade at a nice simmer. Simmer for 20 or 30 minutes.
Once done, turn-off and set aside. For best results, leave the eggs in the marinade for 36 hours. This time measurement isn’t exact. Please play with it to get the desired flavor. At a minimum, let it soak over night (9 hours). This provides a more mild taste. A soak of 2-3 days will provide a more prominent flavor.I ended up placing the eggs in Tupperware and covering them with marinade, then storing them in my refrigerator. The remaining marinade, I stored in separate Tupperware and froze it.
Save the marinade for future 1 or 2 tea egg batches!
This Pilgrim’s Life – Shepherd’s Pie – http://www.thispilgrimlife.com/instant-pot-shepherds-pie/
Notes: This is the recipe from This Pilgrim’s Life. My notes are are in bold.
4 russet baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes KB: I used 4 medium sized potatoes. Ended up with a lot of mash potatoes.
1 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp butter
1 lb ground beef
1 onion, diced KB: Small onion would be perfect.
3 carrots, peeled & cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 C chopped mushrooms
1 C frozen peas KB: I used canned sweet peas (15oz)
1 C beef broth
3 Tbsp flour KB: Tablespoons and not teaspoons!
1 C cheddar cheese
Combine potatoes, 1 cup water, and 1 teaspoon salt in the Instant Pot. Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. KB: I think next time, use the trivet. When I cooked the potatoes, I found that the potatoes ended up sticking to the bottom of the Instant Pot liner making it a pain in the butt to clean. Drain the potatoes and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add 1 egg, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and 2 tablespoons butter to the potatoes. Mash the potato mixture with a masher, or whip with a hand mixer.
In the now-empty Instant Pot, sauté the ground beef for 5 minutes until it begins to brown*. Add the carrots, onions, peas, mushrooms, and 1 tsp each salt and pepper. Stir to combine. KB: I tried to let the veggies, especially onions, reduce a little bit before adding the beef broth. Mix together beef broth and flour in a small measuring cup, then pour the broth mixture into the Instant Pot and stir to combine again.
Top the beef mixture with the mashed potatoes and smooth the top of the potatoes with a spatula. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.KB: I felt like I had a ton of beef filling mixture and mash potatoes. Nothing wrong with cooking the Cottage Pie in that quantity, but might be worthwhile to split the quantity between the Instant Pot and a small casserole dish.
Quick release the pressure. Immediately** top with shredded cheese and serve.
As my friends have pointed out… Shepherd’s Pie is made with lamb. Cottage Pie is made with beef. Enjoy!
Mashed Potatoes: If you enjoy homemade mash potatoes, I would recommend the first half of this recipe. 4 russet potatoes, cubed into 1″ pieces, plus 1 cup of water and some salt. Cook on manual for 8 minutes. Add 1 egg, 2 Tablespoons of butter, salt, pepper, and garlic powder; and mash, mash, mash.
Notes: Recipe by No. 2 Pencil. All my notes will be in bold.
2.5 pound chuck roast KB: Enough for 4 or 5 people
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
2 teaspoons of kosher salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 onion, sliced KB: I used one medium white onion
1/2 cup of red wine KB: Don’t need anything fancy. Use the cheapest red wine you can find. I ended up using a $3 bottle of Merlot.
1 14 oz can of low-sodium beef broth
1 dried bay leaf
6 soft rolls
3 tablespoons of butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
pinch of kosher salt
6 slices of provolone cheese
KB: Consider adding some soy sauce and/or Worcester sauce. The Au Jus was missing something.
For best results, let chuck roast rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before searing.
Add vegetable oil to the Instant Pot and hit the sauté button.
Season chuck roast with 2 teaspoon of kosher salt, freshly ground pepper to taste and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder on all side. KB: See item 3 in the notes at the bottom of the page.
Using a pair on long heat-proof kitchen tongs, sear roast on all sides in Instant Pot.
Remove seared roast from Instant Pot and set aside.
Add onions to pot and sauté just until they start to soften.
Add red wine to pot and let simmer until reduced by half.
Use a wooden spoon to scrape up seared bits from the bottom of the pot as it simmers.
Once wine has reduced, add low-sodium beef broth and bay leaf.
Return roast to Instant Pot, close lid and make pressure release valve is set to sealing.
Hit Meat/Stew function and increase time to 100 minutes.
Let Instant Pot natural release for 25 minutes, then turn valve to venting to release any excess pressure.
Remove lid and transfer roast to a serving plate and shred.
Strain liquid through a fine mesh strainer and serve warm for dipping sandwiches. KB: Definitely do this. The cooking process made the onions super mushy and you don’t want to use them in your sandwich.
Set oven to broil and place sandwich rolls on a baking sheet.
Combine melted butter, 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder and pinch of kosher salt in a small bowl.
Brush over rolls and toast 2-3 minutes, just until gold brown.
Pile meat onto rolls and top with cheese. Return to broiler and heat just until cheese has started to melt.
Top sandwiches with freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley and serve with warm au jus for dipping.
I thought this recipe was really good. Like I mentioned above, the Au Jus sauce wasn’t quite right. It seemed to be missing something. I’ll be adding some Worcester and Soy Sauce (or maybe fish sauce) next time to get the dipping sauce to where I would like it.
Might be worthwhile to splurge the $1.60 (at Safeway) for the McCormick’s Au Jus spice packet.
Instead of cooking a whole beef chuck, next time, I’ll try cutting the chuck into smaller pieces and cooking for 60-65 minutes instead of the 100 minutes that this recipe calls for. I don’t see any real benefit to cooking the beef as a whole. The smaller pieces would be easier to handle and will cook quicker.
Super easy chicken noodle soup recipe! Just follow the recipe. Fair warning that you’ll have a lot of chicken meat. Either save the meat and use it for a different recipe, or consider getting a smaller chicken and supplementing with chicken bones or chicken broth.
5 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces KB: Too much carrots. The broth tastes more like veggie soup than it does chicken. Will try 3 carrots next time.
2 celery sticks, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces KB: I like celery. I will do 3 celery sticks next time.
1 whole 5 pound chicken, giblets removed and discarded
2 tablespoon of soy sauce
8 cups of water
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 ounces of extra wide egg noodles
1/4 cup of minced fresh flat leaf parsley
KB: Notes: Here’s the original recipe from No. 2 Pencil I’ve added my notes in bold. I’ve been spoiled with Pho Ga growing up, so I tend to like my chicken noodle soup with prominent Chicken flavors. Easily serves 5-6 people.
Set Instant Pot to Saute function.
Heat olive oil and onions until onions start to soften and become translucent, 2-3 minutes.
Add garlic, carrots and celery and saute for another minute.
Add whole chicken to Instant Pot, followed by water, soy sauce, 2 teaspoon of salt and several turns of freshly ground pepper.
Turn off Saute function, lock Instant Pot lid in place, make sure pressure valve is set to sealing and set Instant Pot to High Pressure for 20 minutes, via manual mode. KB: As the broth didn’t really bring out the chicken flavor, I would recommend running the Instant Pot for a little longer. I ran mine for 25 minutes.
Instant Pot will take 15-20 minutes to come to pressure, then will countdown from 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes at high pressure, Instant Pot will beep and switch to keep warm mode.
Turn pressure release valve to Quick Release pressure.
Carefully open Instant Pot, keeping lid angled away from you to avoid very hot steam.
Remove whole chicken and set aside to shred.
Turn Instant Pot back to Saute function and let chicken broth come to a boil.
Stir in egg noddles and let cook for about 5 minutes.
While noodles are cooking, shred chicken into bite sized pieces discarding bones and skin.
Once noodles are cooked, stir in chicken meat and fresh parsley.
Notes: Super easy to make! I mostly followed the directions on the Frontera packaging and then cooked in the Instant Pot on manual for 65 minutes.
Prep your beef chuck and onions. Cut the beef chuck into 2″ cubes and lightly season with salt and pepper, then set aside. The beef chunks doesn’t have to be precise. Thinly slice the red onions and set aside also.
Oil the bottom of the Instant Pot pan and set the Instant Pot to saute.
Add the onions and slightly saute.
Add the beef cubes to the Instant Pot also and allow the cubes to lightly brown.
After all the beef cubes are browned, give the onion/beef cube mixture a nice mix.
Add the 1 package of Frontera Barbacoa marinade and 2 cups of water. Make sure that the two are well mixed. You can do this in a separate bowl, but I chose to mix it in the Instant Pot to avoid cleaning another bowl.
Cook on Manual for 65 minutes. After cooking, do a pressure Quick Release.
Remove all the cubes, then shred. The cubes should be really easy to shred. If they aren’t, you might need to cook them a little longer. Return the shredded beef to the marinade.
For best flavor, allow the shredded beef to soak in the marinade for several more hours using the Keep Warm function on the Instant Pot.
2 packages of cinnamon rolls with frosting (or 6 slices of white bread)
1 can of apple pie filling
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Notes: I used the combination of the three source recipes to come up with this recipe. Instead of making my own apple pie filling, I chose to buy the pre-made filling to keep ingredients to a minimum.
Take your unbaked cinnamon rolls and cut each into quarters. Cut into 6 or 8 pieces if you are using large cinnamon rolls. Set aside. If you decided to use white bread, cut the bread into 1″x1″ pieces (4×4).
Next, make the batter that will be used to soak the cinnamon rolls. Mix the milk, eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla extra in a bowl.
Combine the cinnamon roll pieces with the batter.
Once soaked, take out the soaked cinnamon roll pieces and mix together with the apple pie filling.
In a greased pan, place the cinnamon roll and apple pie filling combination.Cover with foil. Covering the pan will keep the pudding from becoming soggy during the cooking process.
Cook in Instant Pot on Manual for 20-25 minutes. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to cook for a little longer.
After the cooking process is complete, quick release the pressure valve and remove. Top with frosting and/or ice cream and enjoy!
1 lb of pasta – I used elbow macaroni. Note: The boxes of pasta at the store are usually 380grams (3/4 of lb). I think there’s a pasta/water ratio you need to adhere to so that you don’t have excess liquid after cooking the pasta.
4 cups of water
2 cups of shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup of shredded Monterrey Jack cheese (The Cheddar/Monterrey Jack combo offers a creamier and smoother Mac n’ Cheese flavor)
1 cup of half and half milk
2 Tbsp of Butter
4 cups of water, 1 lb of pasta, some salt (1 or 2 tsp), and some dried mustard (1 tsp) goes into the Instant Pot. Cook on Manual for 4 minutes with the valve set to Sealing. Quick Release (QR) the valve when cooking is finished.
Mix in half-and-half, butter, and shredded cheese into pasta. Folding in ingredients a little at a time makes things easier
Add salt, pepper, oregano, or other to taste.
Try adding hot sauce for a kick in flavor
Try different cheese combinations to find a combo that works for you
Adhere to the 4 cups of water to 1 lb of pasta ratio to avoid excess water.
Cheddar/Monterrey Jack cheese offers a smoother and creamy flavor
4 bone in chicken breasts KB: Bone in is important. If you find that you don’t have enough flavor, you can also buy chicken bones by itself. I also found that 4 chicken breasts left me with way too much chicken. My second attempt was with 1 chicken breast with rib bone and 2 carcasses of chicken bones.
1 onion KB: I used a yellow onion.
1 palm sized piece of ginger
¼ cup fish sauce plus to taste KB: Use 1/2 cup. Taste your broth before serving. You’ll need to add a little fish sauce and/or salt to the broth in order to get it to the flavor/taste you are looking for. Don’t be afraid of adding too much though. Like Cuong said, the noodles will dilute the broth and flavor.
2 TBS sugar (preferably palm sugar) KB: Use 1 tablespoon instead of 2.
1 teaspoon of salt
packet of pho spices (can omit) KB: This was one of the items available at my local Asian Market. $3.00 for 5 spice packets. https://www.amazon.com/Pho-Hoa-Beef-Noodle-Spices/dp/B003GRMUCU
The filter bag becomes really fragile after the cooking process. Use a ladle to remove the packet as to not break the spice bag during removal.
Cooking Directions (From Cuong Can Cook with personal notes in bold):
Over direct heat gas flame, char the whole onion and ginger, 5 minutes. If a gas burner is not available, you can use a dry pan on the stove, broil in the oven, or use your outdoor BBQ grill.
Place chicken, fish sauce, sugar, charred onion and ginger, salt, and spice packet into Instant Pot and fill with hot water (can use cold, it just takes longer to heat up). Close lid, set vent knob to Sealing, and use Manual for 20 minutes. KB: Try to use hot water if possible. It will save you a lot of time. We also found the chicken to be a little bland. Consider preparing the chicken ahead of time by seasoning with some salt and pepper.
While the chicken is cooking, slice green onion and cilantro into small pieces
After 20 minute cook time, you can QR (Quick Release) or NPR (Natural Pressure Release). Taste and season broth. KB: I ended up cooking on Manual for 25 minutes. I also don’t think it hurts to let the broth sit after cooking. I feel like the flavors really start to settle in more the longer you let it sit. My only recommendation is to remove the spice packet with a ladle as I think the packet will become more prone to breaking. According to Cuong, you want the broth to be a bit more flavorful than what you like. When you add the rice noodles into the soup, it will dilute the flavor a little bit. This is very much true!
In a separate pot, boil some water, Using a noodle strainer if available, boil the dry pho noodles about 5 to 20 seconds until it is loose and pliable. Place into soup bowl. KB: I was told to wash the noodles again after cooking it. Something about a better taste.
Slice or pull chicken meat and add to soup bowl
Garnish with green onion and cilantro, pour hot soup broth into bowl KB: If the noodles are cold, consider microwaving the bowl for 30-45 secs prior to adding the broth.
Top with Thai basil and a squeeze of fresh lime juice
Stay lubed during all steps of the cooking process!