The Simple Girl’s Pho

Simple to make pho

The first time I was told we were going out for pho (pronounced fuh) I cringed. The idea of going out on the town and actually paying someone for soup is not exactly my idea of a date night. Flash-forward two hours into the date later… I’m officially obsessed with pho.

It’s wonderful, and wonderful for you. It’s warm, flavorful, tangy and I love the whole idea of adding whatever-the-heck you want to it. Want some bean sprouts? Sure! Need some jalapeños? Toss em in. Totally hooked on pho.

Naturally, what Amanda likes, Amanda likes to re-create. I perused my local Vietnamese market and purchased everything I needed to start my own at-home pho. Well… I purchased everything with a picture on it that looked like something I would need for pho.

One word of note before we begin. This is easy girl’s pho. I quickly learned, after I had purchased my ingredients (minus the oxtail bone) that the pho broth alone can take days to create. This recipe will not take you days, it will take you a crock-pot and a few hours—you can read a good book and tip a few wine glasses back while the slow cooker does the work for you!


5-6 Beef Bones (I seriously used sirloin bones from the night before—the more meat hunks hanging off them the better
1 Large Onion (chopped)
1 Hunk Fresh Ginger (peeled and chopped)
4 Cups Beef Broth
2 Cups Water
1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce
1 Stick of Cinnamon
1 tsp Pepper
3 Star of Anise (the little star looking things that come in popery…but don’t use popery)

Raw Beef – shaved very thin
1-2 lb Rice Noodles/Rice Sticks

Optional (but recommended!) Toppings
Bean Sprouts
Mint Leaves


Combine broth, water, fish sauce, bones and all spices into your crockpot.

On a non-stick baking sheet, oven-broil your diced onions and ginger for about 5 minutes. You’ll want the onions and ginger to be slightly charred but not crispy burnt. Transfer onions and ginger to your crockpot.

Cook on low crock-pot setting for 4-6 hours. Longer if you have the time!

When your broth is ready, you will want to strain it of all solid bits before it comes time to serve. You can use or strainer or a slotted spoon to discard the pieces. If a strainer is used, just make sure to transfer your broth back to the crock-pot when complete—you want to keep your broth hot!

Cook your rice noodles until al dente. Drain and divide among your serving bowls.

To prepare your pho bowls, place your thin slices of beef and cooked noodles into your individual bowls. Ladle the hot broth over top over your beef slices and noodles. The hot broth should cook your meat within moments, turning the meat an grayish opaque color. If some pieces stay slightly pink, do not be alarmed, those are just medium rare-medium pieces but completely safe to consume.

Serve your pho bowls to your guests and let them have fun with all of the toppings you’ve arranged for them on the table.

Makes 4 servings


Note: When slicing your beef thin, if you have trouble doing so, try flash freezing it for a few moments before you cut it. This will help keep it stiff and easier to cut into thin strips!


Good Ol’ Fashioned Pot Roast

Pot Roast

I’m a career girl. I work A LOT. But that doesn’t stop me from cooking up a storm… most days anyway. Yes, I have my off days (mac and cheese, anyone?) but when I can anticipate an extra-long day at the office, those 12 hour-ers that have you crawling home, I try to plan my meals in advance. For those days, I break out what I call my handy-dandy “Freezer Packs.”

A freezer pack is simply fresh veggies, typically potatoes, onions, carrots and celery that I cut up, toss in a zip-lock and throw in the freezer. These little packs are life savers. Ready and willing my little freezer packs sit until they’re needed to save the day. The only other items you need are a crock-pot and a protein of your choosing.

Enter the pot roast—best friend of the freezer pack. I always like to have one of these bad boys in the freezer as well, just waiting for me to pull out when a long day at the office is in the forecast. Together, my freezer pack and slab of pork will make the perfect pair, and the best part, it takes me no time at all!

Make Ahead Freezer Pack

4 Russet Potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes (I used whole red potatoes which works equally well)
4 Celery stalks
1 Onion, sliced
4 Carrots, chopped into pieces

Clean and chop into pieces, all of your vegetables. Place veggies in a zip-lock bag. Close bag and date bag with marker. Place bag in freezer and utilize when needed. Note—you can add (or leave out) any vegetables of your choosing.

Slow-Cooker Pot Roast

2-3lb pork chuck roast
1 Cup beef broth (any broth works, really)
1 Packet onion soup mix
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Freezer pack of vegetables (or you can always use fresh veggies)

Spray crock-pot with cooking spray and turn setting to low. Place pot roast into slow-cooker. Sprinkle half of onion soup mix over pot roast. Top the roast with your vegetables. Pour beef broth over top of vegetables and sprinkle with the remainder of your onion soup mix. Cover and let cook on low setting for 8 hours…or whenever you make it home from the office (wink!) Serves nicely with soda bread or similar. Enjoy!