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Recipe for pho beef tacos

Serves 4

We don’t all have 8 hours during which to slowly simmer beef for pho tacos. This 2-to-2½-hour version of braised beef chuck, inspired by the tacos from Xoia, takes considerably less time, and offers a similarly delicious payoff.

3tablespoons canola oil
pounds beef chuck, cut into 2-inch pieces
3cups beef stock
1bunch cilantro, stems only
1tablespoon star anise
3whole cinnamon sticks
½tablespoon cardamom pods
1tablespoon sugar
½tablespoon Asian fish sauce
8 corn tortillas (6 inches each)
2tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
½red onion, finely chopped
Sriracha (for serving)

1. In a large flameproof casserole over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil. Brown the beef for 5 minutes without moving. Turn and brown the other sides.

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2. Add the beef stock, cilantro stems, anise, cinnamon, cardamom, sugar, and fish sauce. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and cover the pan. Simmer for 2 to 2½ hours, until meat is tender when pierced with fork.

3. Use tongs to transfer the beef to a plate, leaving the
liquid in the pot. Let the beef cool. Shred it.

4. In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the beef and about ½ cup of the cooking liquid. Cook for 5 minutes.

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5. Use a heavy-based skillet to heat the corn tortillas one at a time until warm and pliable. Place some of the beef on each one and top with cilantro, red onion, and sriracha.
Luke Pyenson

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