If you have never had beef pho, then you are in for a treat!
It is a vietnamese dish that is normally eaten for breakfast and involves a clear beef broth with noodles, vegetables and thinly sliced beef. It has many fresh flavours in it and can easily be customised to suit your taste buds.
The traditional recipe concentrates on the broth…
and involves slow cooking beef bones with spices to make an amazing mixture of flavours. Once you have the broth, your food combinations are unlimited! The idea is to lay out all the different additions to your soup out on a table and people can add what they want to the broth.
My simple beef pho recipe is simple (and quick) compared to the original but it still has a hearty broth, as well as the joy that it felt when you are slurping noodles out of a big bowl. It has 4 servings, so it is perfect to try for breakfast the next day (which is a surprisingly perfect meal for first thing in the morning).
6 cups of high quality beef stock (I used the Better than Bouillon meal bases)
¼ cup of fish sauce
2 centimetres of fresh ginger, peeled and thickly sliced
2 cinnamon sticks
3 star anise
500g of steak, partially frozen
cilantro, finely chopped
1 fresh lime, cut into wedges
In a large saucepan, add the stock, fish sauce, ginger, star anise and cinnamon sticks. Bring to the boil then let it simmer for about 20 minutes to infuse all the flavours together.
In meantime, cook your rice noodles according to the instructions on the packet.
Take your steak and slice it as thinly as possible. By having it partially frozen, this will help you to cut it finely. Place the cut slices into a bowl.
In separate bowls, have your cilantro, bean sprouts and lime wedges ready.
Once the broth is ready, use a slotted spoon or a sieve to remove the ginger, star anise and cinnamon.
Serve the broth in large bowls, and allow your household to add their own ingredients. I recommend adding the steak first, so that the hot stock can cook the steak.
The science of a good burger has been written about A LOT! (Over 9 million results, according to Google) but after I clicked on a couple of articles, I still wasn’t finding what I wanted so here is my two cents on the topic…
Firstly, the story of why I decided to write this post. I cook all the time, I should be able to make a good burger. Well my friends, unfortunately not. Infact, after the last batch that I made, Alex told me that we should just start buying the pre-made patties as they taste better. Needless to say, I am not impressed (with him) and myself so I have gone into research mode for the quest of a good burger recipe. Keep in mind, I don’t like fancy ingredients, I have a small budget and any recipe that takes me over 20 minutes in preparation time has lost my attention, so I am going to keep this simple for all of us.
A little history… where did the burger come from?
According to the Burger Doctor, the Hamburger came from Hamburg, Germany in the 1880’s after the locals ground the tough meat to make it more tender. There is controversy about this as the hamburger is an American staple so with further research, this tasty sandwich could have been made in Ohio by the Menches brothers. Their first burgers were beef sausage meat, seasoned with brown sugar, coffee and spices. There are many other theories, but honestly, I am just glad that someone came up with this tasty invention.
The hamburger wasn’t as widely known or accepted from that start, mainly due to poor hygiene surrounding the production and sales. Towards the end of the great depression, their popularity grew, mainly because they were cheap but it wasn’t until the beginning of Macdonald’s, that burgers really took off and became an integral part of the American culture (1). Love them or hate them, much of our commercial food processing is thanks to the ingenuity of the Macdonald’s restaurants as they strived to have their burgers taste the same, in any place in America and later the world. Nowadays, it is estimated that 50 million burgers are eaten in America alone! (2)
There is an overwhelming amount of ways that you can make a good burger pattie! In the end, I ended up playing with the recipe a bit more and made a much nicer pattie, mainly because of this video, because it showed me that the best burgers are simple. It was Alex approved and I am sure that you will like it too!
MAKING THE BURGER PATTIES
500g of ground beef
1/4 cup of breadcrumbs
3 tbs of cornstarch
Salt and Pepper
Any other seasonings that you may want
Take all the ingredients and mix them in a large bowl.
Once the “dough” is formed, split it into 4 large patties or 6 smaller ones.
Heat a fry pan on a medium heat, add a splash of olive oil and add your patties.
I liked my pattie to be flat, so I squished mine so that it was easier to eat but it is all personal preference.
Fry the patty on one side for about 5 minutes and then flip.
Cook for another 5 minutes and you are ready to build your burger.
Tomato, Lettuce and Pickles
Mushrooms, Caramelised Onion and Cheese
Bacon, Eggs, Cheese and BBQ Sauce
Tomato, Lettuce, Pickled Beets, Grilled Pineapple and Onion (Aussie Style)
Spaghetti and meatballs makes me think of cobbled roads and Italian people zipping around on scooters. I have never been to Italy but one day, I shall get there just to see if my vision is true.
SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS
500 grams/1 pound of ground beef
1/4 cup of breadcrumbs
3 tbs of cornstarch
1/2 tsp of oregano (dried)
1/2 tsp of basil (dried)
salt and pepper to taste
thick spaghetti pasta
one jar of pasta sauce
cheese for serving (I like parmesan)
Place ground beef, bread crumbs, corn starch, egg, herbs and spices in a bowl and mix until you have formed a sticky dough.
Take about a tablespoon of mixture and roll it into a ball. Place on a separate plate. Keep doing this until you have used up all the mixture.
Turn on the element to medium and heat a large frying pan. Add a dash of olive oil and then gently place all of the meatballs in. Cover with a lid and let them cook for about 5 minutes.
In the meantime, put a large pot of water on to boil and add your desired amount of pasta.
Once the meatballs are cooked on one side, turn them all over and cover them again for another 5 minutes, or until they are brown on each side.
Add your jar of pasta sauce, stirring gently so that you don’t break the meatballs, until the sauce is hot.
Drain the pasta that was cooking and after rinsing, add a swirl of olive oil.
Combine the pasta and the meatball sauce in a bowl, add some cheese of choice and enjoy.