Beef Pho


  • 1 1/2 pounds oxtails
  • 1/2 pound beef brisket or chuck roast
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger
  • 10 cups filtered water
  • 1/2 medium fuju apple (see note)
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • keto-friendly sweetener
  • 6 ounces sirloin steak
  • 2 large Zucchini
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 2 scallions
  • Lime wedges
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts or other sprouted greens
  • few sprigs each of fresh thai basil, cilantro, and/or mint
  • thai chiles or jalapenos
  • For the Broth: Rinse the oxtails and brisket well under cold running water. Place the oxtails and brisket in a large stockpot and cover with water. Bring the water to a rolling boil over high heat, then reduce to a low boil and cook for 15 minutes. You will see a beige colored raft of foam form on the surface of the water. Remove the pot from the heat, discard the water,and rinse the oxtails and brisket with warm water when they are cool enough to handle. Set the beef aside.
  • Set the Instant Pot to Sauté. Once heated, place the cinnamon, cloves, coriander, and star anise in the bottom of the dry pot insert and toast for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the onion and ginger and continue to stir for an additional minute or two. The aromatics will begin to smell very fragrant during this time, and it is desirable if they beginto char slightly. Press Cancel.
  • Carefully pour in the water, then add the oxtails, brisket, apple, and salt. Secure the lid and set the steam release valve to Sealing. Press the Pressure Cook or Manual button and set the cook time to 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, place the sirloin in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes (this makes it easier to slice later). Place the optional toppings in small bowls to prepare for serving later.
  • When the Instant Pot beeps, allow the pressure to release naturally for 20 minutes, then carefully switch the steam release valve to Venting. When fully released, open the lid. Very carefully strain the hot broth from the pot through a fine-mesh sieve. Set the brisket aside and discard the ginger, onion, apple, and spices. Leftover bones and cartilaginousbone caps from the oxtails can be saved and used again later to make bone broth. Season the strained broth with fish sauce to taste. Adjust the flavor by adding sweetener to taste, if desired.
  • Remove the sirloin from the freezer and slice thinly across the grain. Likewise slice the cooked brisket. Divide the spiralized zucchini noodles evenly among four large soup bowls. Arrange slices of both raw and cooked beef atop the zucchini noodles, along with slices of red onion and scallion. Gently pour a generous serving of piping hot broth into each bowl directly over top of the raw beef slices and zucchini noodles. Serve immediately with the optional toppings on the side for diners to add themselves, along with lime wedges.
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