What is a Phorrito, you ask? Well, it’s Pho, the delicious super-rich broth based soup from Vietnam that is maybe the best hangover cure in the world, that’s been put into burrito form. Simple as that. I like to eat with my hands. And as much as I love a good bowl of pho or ramen, I can’t always put down that much savory salty liquid (it’s a personal failing, I know; it’s why I love mazeman). This solves for both those things. It’s handheld, and even though we’re making some legit pho broth here, we’re turning it into gravy so our phorritos aren’t a wet mess.
This is seriously one of the most delicious things I’ve made in a while, and there are two main keys: 1) you must make real pho broth with real beef and real beef bones; 2) your steak needs to be sliced super thin (either call your butcher ahead of time, or stick in the freezer for a few hours before attempting to slice).
Ingredients (Makes 4-6 bphorritos)
- 5 pounds beef knuckle bones
- 1 lb ground chuck
- 2 sweet onions, roughly chopped
- 1 piece ginger (3-4 inches long), cut into a few large pieces
- 6 whole star anise
- 6 whole cloves
- 1 large cinnamon stick
- 1 1/2 T salt
- 4 T fish sauce
- 2 T honey
- 1 lb eye round beef
- 1 bunch mint, washed and trimmed
- 1 bunch cilantro, washed and trimmed
- 1 bunch thai basil, washed and trimmed
- 1 bunch scallions, sliced thin
- 4-6 serrano chilis, sliced thin
- 1/2 lb bean sprouts
- 1/2 lb enoki mushrooms
- 1 pack rice vermicelli
- 2 c + 1 T vegetable oil
- 1/4 c white wine
- 1 stick butter
- 1/2 c flour, sifted
- Large flour tortillas
- It’s best to make broth the day before you want to eat phorritos.
- Preheat oven to 450 F.
- Put bones in a stock pot and cover with cold water.
- Bring pot to a boil, and let boil hard for about 8-9 minutes.
- Strain and rinse the bones of any extra scum.
- Arrange bones, beef, onions, and ginger on a roasting tray.
- Roast for 20-25 minutes, or until you see some charring.
- If you have a pressure cooker, now is a great time to use it. If not, use a dutch oven or crock pot.
- Dump EVERYTHING from the roasting tray into your cooking vessel.
- Add enough water to cover, but don’t pass the max line on your pressure cooker (it’s ok if it’s not covered in that case, you can add a little extra hot water after the pressure process is done).
- If using pressure cooker, cook for 2 hours (high pressure on an Instant Pot). If using a dutch oven, bring to a boil, reduce to a hard simmer, and cook for 6-8 hours. If using a crock pot, cook on high for 6-8 hours.
- Strain the broth into a very large container and let cool to room temperature, then move to a sealed container and put in the fridge overnight. Or until set like jello. Yes, set like jello.
- Stick your beef in the freezer when you put the broth in the fridge (makes it easier to slice thin; you can also ask your butcher to slice it very thin, but call ahead so they can freeze it before slicing it).
- Skim the fat off the top.
- Take 4 cups of broth and reheat on the stove.
- Prep the vegetables and herbs.
- Heat 2 cups of vegetable oil in your dutch oven or a pot and bring to 350 F.
- Tear the vermicelli into chunks, and fry one at a time. It only takes about 2-3 seconds to fry up. Make sure you leave plenty of space in the pot, because the vermicelli will expand drastically.
- Put fried vermicelli onto paper towels to strain.
- Slice the beef as thin as you can, right out of the freezer.
- Heat a large skillet on high heat with 2 T vegetable oil.
- Season the steak slices with salt and pepper.
- Cook the slices of steak for about 30-45 seconds each side in batches.
- Slice the beef into strips.
- Once done with the beef, add the white wine and deglaze the pan.
- Melt the butter in the same skillet.
- Add the sifted flour, and whisk into the butter to make a roux. Cook until brown.
- Add the stock to the roux, whisk together, and cook until starting to thicken into gravy.
- Pull it off the heat when it still looks a little too thin (it will thicken as it cools, and you won’t be eating it as hot as it is in the pan).
- Build your phorritos however you like!
PS a little extra gravy on the side (or even broth, if you have extra) is a good call too.