Food & dining
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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.

    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.

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

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    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.

    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