Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Recipe: Herefordshire Beef Pho w/ Brandy de Jerez Digestif


First day's rest for the festive season! Wake up in the morning, slowly, don't have anything to do today. I love that feeling - holiday! - without a care in the world, no responsibilities to deal with and a bit of cash to spend on a good time! Yeay! What to do? Potter about, make a coffee and call friend, "you fancy hanging out?", "yip : )", "cool, I'll come get you, we can do a little shopping for dinner". "You had breakfast yet?" "No? OK we can grab that too". Quick look in the fridge and larder, what have we got? Some oxtail, onions, lemons, ginger, lemon grass, chillies, bottle of Prosecco : ) hmmm and idea begins to form involving slow cooking oxtail. A little piece of fillet steak, some noodles and some coriander will be all I need.

Unbeknown to me, there were secret elements that had been bought for our consumption, so we picked up a poppy and sesame seed baguette from Des Lys Boulangerie which is a cracking spot by the way, and a few other little bits for our dinner and Champagne brunch!

By this point we were starving. Luckily, almost before I'd managed to start browning the oxtail, a rather lovely combo dip of truffle oil and 25 year old balsamic reserve found its way onto the table with a very enticing, seeded French stick. After a little toning down of the truffle flavour to make it a little subtler the combo was a cracking start that went very well with a glass of Prosecco. Aperitif darling? Why I don't mind if I doo!


Bits on the griddle done, oxtail for the pho on the bubble, I got on with brunch but I found myself being distracted by another festive treat: a little brandy de Jerez!!!!



How could I not indeed!! "Rude not to!! Would you like one?" I inquire, to be greeted by a charming smile and a decisive "I think I'm going to have to try some, quality control you understand." A few giggles later and breakfast was on the table, sorry, err . . brunch was on the table and our oriental dinner was bubbling away nicely on the stove, as we settled in for a movie!

I have to say that a strong coffee with a touch of Jerez brandy makes for a fabulous digestif.

The pho that we had later was close to the original but the response it got: "surprising fusion of flavours and freshness it all went together so well!!" and the fact that it had disappeared are good enough signs to me that it's a keeper!!

note for the purists: I put this post up because folks complained they couldn't get half the ingredients where they lived! This recipe is basically as close as you can get to a Pho with plain old supermarket ingredients. If you can make it in Hereford you can make it anywhere!!! It's missing a few of the light fragrant notes from the specialist leaves namely the Thai basil, but the fine Herefordshire steak more than makes up for that!!

Here's how I made it . . . .
Enjoy!!

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