Saturday, September 13, 2014

Stock for Pho

Every 6 months or so, I try to stuff something into my over-packed freezer and it just wont fit. In desperation I start pulling things out. I'd say a good third are bags of bones I tucked away with the best of intentions. As long as you perform this purgative ritual, you will not be disappointed. For me there are other freezer rites to observe: paying homage to Herman the eel is among them. He's been in there for about a decade and I don't have the heart to toss him.

Well, when you collect your bones, mine were an assortment of beef oddments, pig shoulder, lamb neck, chicken backs and wings, and a left over turkey carcass, toss them into the pot and cover with water. I also took the opportunity to clean the fridge of limp carrots, half a leek, some red onion, a sad bulb of fennel, celery tops, parsley stalks, mature dill and so forth.

And then I went even further and emptied the upper spice cabinet where I found star anise, coriander, long pepper, cloves, juniper, cardamom. You can tell where I'm going with this: PHO! After just a couple of hours the kitchen smells like heaven. So this is what angels eat. I'll give it maybe 10 hours at a gentle simmer, strain it tonight and have it for breakfast tomorrow with noodles and fresh vegetables.

 This is the soup the next morning. Quite nice without fussy straining. I also tasted it here before garnishing. The veggies, lime and a small hit of sriracha of course makes it, in my opinion.

UPDATE: Plan so far working. A pint or so of stock, leftover meat, some vegetables and noodles, for breakfast. Should last a week or more, as I slowly defrost the containers of stock through the week. Let me tell you, spicy and sour in the morning is a real pick me up at 5 AM!

Another Update: I think the combo I like best is tomatoes, lime, chicken, chilies, shredded carrots and a few shiitake. It does really make a great breakfast.


Anonymous said...

Everything you cook looks delicious. There should be a way to channel the smell of your kitchen through the internet.

Annie said...

What a great use for all the old spices-- I've been perfuming my compost bin but that's a waste really.

Hey, The Eel. PLEASE make this into something that happens soon. Maybe something Renaissance, like cut up with other animals to make an imaginary creature? Oh, who knows what you would get up to but it would be wonderful to hear.

Ken Albala said...

Annie, the eel is about a dozen years old. He's a good friend now. But I'd love to make a medieval eel dish, it's one of my favorite foods.