Optional - Parboil Bones & Meat: Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil, then boil the bones and meat for 5 - 10 minutes (to clean and remove excess fat). Remove & rinse the bones & meat in cold water. *Pro Tip: It’s faster to parboil on the stovetop instead of Instant Pot.
Toast Spices: Place all the spices in Instant Pot. Press “Saute” button to “Sauté More” or “Sauté Hi” to heat up Instant Pot. When the spices begin to release its’ fragrance (~2.5 mins), remove and set aside.
Char Onions & Ginger: Wait until your Instant Pot says HOT (~8 mins), then add 2 tbsp (30ml) vegetable oil in Instant Pot. Ensure to coat the oil over the whole bottom of the pot. Add in 2 halved onions (flat side down) and ginger pieces. Allow the onions and ginger to char (don’t touch them for ~5 mins). After 4 mins, add in a crushed garlic clove. *Pro Tip: Don’t skip this charring step because it’ll bring out their flavors and deepen the Pho’s overall flavor.
Deglaze Instant Pot: Pour 1 cup (250ml) cold water in Instant Pot. Fully deglaze (scrub all the brown bits) the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon, then mix them into the liquid.
Pressure Cook Beef Broth: Add in the toasted spices, 3 tbsp (45ml) fish sauce, 20g yellow rock sugar, ½ tsp (3g) fine table salt, 2 lb beef marrow bones, 1 lb beef neck bone or oxtail, and ¾ lb beef feet or beef tendon. Add in 6 cups (1500ml) of cold water, and layer 1 lb beef finger meat or chuck meat on the very top. With Venting Knob in Venting Position, close the lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position. Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 1 hour + Natural Release for 30 minutes.*Pro Tip: For safety purposes, use "Gradual Slow Release" technique in Step 8 to release the remaining pressure after 30 mins Natural Release (see photo). Prepare Garnish: While the Instant Pot is pressure cooking, thinly slice ½ small white onion, then place the slices in a bowl of cold water for 30 minutes. This will reduce the onion’s pungency. Then, prepare the remaining garnish as described. Thinly slice the sirloin, flank steak, or eye of round against the grain.
Prepare Banh Pho Noodles: When Instant Pot starts to natural release, boil 3 quarts (3L) of water with 1 tsp (6g) fine salt on the stovetop. Once the water is brought to a boil, pour it in a mixing bowl, then fully submerge the dried noodles in the hot water, then cover the mixing bowl. Occasionally, stir and loosen up the noodles. It takes 20 – 28 minutes to fully cook the noodles. Taste to ensure the noodles are fully cooked to your preference, then drain and rinse them under cold water.
Gradual Slow Release: Since the Instant Pot will be quite full, it’s safer to use the “Gradual Pressure Release” technique to slowly release the remaining pressure. Turn the Venting Knob just a bit to allow the steam to release very slowly. You can use a wooden spoon to hold the Venting Knob in position for the Gradual Release (see photo). Once the Floating Pin has dropped, you can carefully open the lid.
Strain Beef Broth: Transfer the bones & meat to a large mixing bowl, and discard the onions & ginger. Cut the meat with a pair of scissors or knife. Pick out the bone marrow to serve with your pho. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer, then remove the fat with a fat separator or skim with a ladle.
Season Beef Broth: Bring the broth back to a full boil over high heat. Taste the broth and adjust the seasoning accordingly by adding more salt and fish sauce (for reference, we added 1 tbsp fish sauce + 1¼ tsp fine salt here). You may also need a touch of sugar to balance the flavors. *Pro Tip: If you don’t want to serve rare beef slices, cook them in the boiling broth at this step. Serve: Place the cooked noodles and all the meat in a large serving bowl. Garnish with white onion slices, chopped green onions, fresh cilantro, and some freshly ground black pepper. Pour in the boiling beef broth and serve it piping hot with the Pho herbs Platter on the side. Give yourself a pat on the back & enjoy!