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Wild Venison Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup)

Pho is one of those street food dishes you see everywhere in Vietnam and everybody loves it, and for good reason! Pho is a real comfort food for those long cold winter nights, its perfect any time of day and its tastes amazing!

Venison goes really well in place of beef in this dish and adds to that rich comforting meaty flavour you get with pho.

Pho although quick to eat and will leave you wanting more does take time to make as you first have to make that healthy nourishing both that makes the dish what it is, here's the recipe.


serves 6 (or 3 people wanting seconds!)

cooking time 5.5 hrs

-2 small onions

-50g fresh root ginger

-1.2 kg venison haunch (or any cut for broth)

-500g venison bones (or beef bone marrow)

-cinnoman stick

-half tbsp. fennel seeds

-half tbsp. coriander seeds

-4 cardamom pods

-3-4 cloves

-3 star anise

-2-4 tbsp. Thai or Veit fish sauce ( i like more!)

-2-4 tsp. palm sugar (or brown sugar)


200g dried rice noodles

250g venison steak (thinly sliced against the grain, half frozen is easier to slice)

spring onions finely chopped

handful Thai basil leaves (or normal if you don't have)

handful coriander leaves

2 birds eye chilli's thinly sliced

1 lime cut into wedges

1. Chargrill the ginger and onions by cutting in half and either charring on the gas hob or under the grill for 20 mins until both are blackened on the outside. scrape the charred parts off with a sharp knife util clean and tender. In the meantime put a large heavy saucepan on the hob and sear any venison cuts you have for favour then add cold water and bring to the boil with the venison bones and the ginger and onion then reduce the heat to a simmer for 15 mins skimming off any surface scum.

2. Next toast your spices in a frying pan until golden and you can smell their aroma. roughly 2-3 mins. Strain out the broth through a sieve removing any scum and return bones, venison, ginger, onion to the pan and cover with water. Add the fish sauce, sugar, salt to season and spices crushed (wrapped in muslin bag) bring to the boil then simmer for 5 hrs topping up with water if needed until meat is meltingly tender.

3. Once your broth is done strain it out again through a sieve keeping aside the tender meat but removing the bones, aromatics and onion. Now you have your finished broth you can let it cool to remove the surface fat or use now with fat inside.

4. To serve soak the rice noodles in cold water for 15 mins. Drain, then cover with boiling water and set aside for 10 mins. Meanwhile warm the broth and add fish sauce, sugar and salt to taste. Drain the noodles and rinse under cold water until cool. Shred your cooked tender meat then serve with broth, noodles, thinly cut raw steak (will cook in heat of the broth) spring onions, herbs, lime and chilli.

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