Monday, November 19, 2012

Beef Pho Banh Mi Sliders

While my husband can be really specific about what he wants in a meal, like the previous post, I love creating new and never before cooked ones.  Like this one.  Last week, Food Network's Next Iron Chef challenged the contestants to take cafe food and escalate it to a higher level with an international flair.  There was a banh mi group that created some dishes including banh mi pasta, banh mi pho, and banh mi panzanella.  It was an exciting, inspirational show that had me ready to do my own version. 
So I set out to find the prefect bread.  To find perfect bread, I squeeze the loaf lightly.  If there's a slight crusty crackle that gives in to a soft pillowy texture, it's perfect.  All over town, I have tested bread that has no crusty crackle.  Or it feels too dense inside.  One woman told me that the freshest bread is on the inside of the basket, so check there first.  This bread is bolillo, which is usually used in Mexican tortas, or sandwiches.  I found it to be the perfect size for a smaller version of the Vietnamese banh mi, or sandwich.

As the chuck roast cooked slowly in the Crock Pot, my 9 year old daughter Gianna came home.  She said our home smelled like Gramma's.  That told me I was on the right track.  The end result was a beefy pho - like flavor combined with the fresh herbs on a crisp, chewy toasted bun.  Everybody was pretty happy with it.

Ingredients:
  •  6 pieces of bolillo bread
  • 1 beef chuck roast, about 2 1/2 pounds
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp organic tamari or soy sauce
  • Handful of star anise
  • Garlic powder, about 1 tbsp
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Ginger powder, about 1 tsp
  • Garnish:  cilantro, shredded carrots, sliced white onion, chives
  • Hoisin & Sriracha sauces
  • 1 cup of broth or beer
  • 1 white onion, sliced
Directions:
  1. Marinate the chuck roast overnight in a large zipper bag with the fish sauce, tamari, star anise, garlic powder, lime juice, and ginger.
  2. Place the roast in a slow cooker with the beer or broth, the white onion, and cook on low for 6 - 7 hours or until tender.
  3. Bake the bread in a 350 degree oven for 8 minutes.  Slice the bread in half lengthwise and crosswise.
  4. Assemble with the beef, garnish, and sauces. 

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