RECIPE: Appalachian pho

Another meal I like to cook (and order!) in the bitter, winter months is authentic Vietnamese pho. Typical with chicken, pork and beef, I wanted to try it out with one of the venison tenderloins I had sitting in my freezer.

PREPARATION:

  1. After completely thawing, put the tenderloin in the freezer for one hour. Prep the onion and ginger by peeling and halving both. 
  2. Turn on your broiler to high, then place onions and ginger on top rack for 5-10 minutes, cut side up, until they are charred. 
  3. While onion and ginger are broiling, heat star anise, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and coriander in a large pot over medium-heat until fragrant. Add charred onion and ginger, beef stock and stir. Let broth  simmer, then reduce heat to low, cover and continue to simmer for 30 minutes. 
  4. Once broth is done, strain out onions, garlic and spices. Add fish sauce and brown sugar. 
  5. Prep the noodles by following the instructions on the package. Drain, then rinse with cold water. Toss in 2 tsp of sesame oil. 
  6. Pull tenderloins out of freezer and begin to slice. You want it very thin so it cooks in the hot broth. Seasons with a small amount of salt and pepper. 
  7. Add noodles to bowl, then top with raw meat. Add simmering broth to bowls, submerging the meat entirely so it cooks. Top with green onions, bean sprouts, Thai basil, mint, thinly sliced jalapeños and a soft-boiled egg. 

INGREDIENTS

1 venison tenderloin (for two people)

2 packs of uncooked rice noodles

1 large white onion

6-inch piece of ginger root

8 cups beef stock

5 star anise

4 whole cloves

3 cinnamon sticks

2 tbsp ground cardamom

2 tbsp ground coriander 

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 tsp fish sauce

Salt

Garnishes: 

Mint, thai basil, bean sprouts, jalapeños, green onions, one large soft boiled egg

Andrew Spellman

A West Virginia University Reed College of Media alum, Andrew has a deep passion for his field of work. He is currently a sports and outdoors writer for The Dominion Post in Morgantown, WV, and a current issues and affairs writer for Project Upland. He also runs his blog, Hill & Holler, on the side.

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