Sometimes I find myself in an eating rut. For someone who loves to cook, I eat out or order in far too often. Even I’m surprised at how often I end up skipping the kitchen in favor of letting someone else prepare my meal for me. What can I say? I’m lazy. And by the time I get home from work I’m exhausted. While the idea of actually cooking doesn’t usually bother me, the thought of cleaning up afterwards is more than I can take.
So we get pizza.
Boring. And, to be honest, not all that tasty.
There’s no excuse. I have an entire category on here devoted to Quick Weeknight Meals. There are hundreds of great restaurants within in fifteen minute drive from my house. And, if I really wanted, I could make my own pizza in the amount of time it takes to get one delivered. That would taste better. And that wouldn’t require a ton of time spent on cleanup.
So. I recently made a resolution that if I was going to be lazy and not cook for myself, I at least deserved to eat something good. Not pizza. Not fast food. Not a salad with twelve million calories from a chain restaurant.
Which lead me to discover a great Vietnamese restaurant that I had never been to before, despite the fact that it’s practically walking distance from my house. (It probably is walking distance, but there we go with that whole lazy thing again.)
And that restaurant has lead me to discover that Vietnamese food consists of more than just pho. Like their mussel appetizer, where mussels are served on the half shell drizzled with a sweet and spicy coconut curry. Or Bun Thit Nuong, grilled pork served over vermicelli, which has quickly become my favorite thing to order.
When I received a gorgeous enamel coated, cast iron dutch oven the other day (keep reading to find out how you can get one too!), I immediately decided that I wanted to make something loosely inspired by that dish. It was too hot outside to eat soup or stew, so a richly flavored braised beef served over a cool noodle salad seemed like it would hit the spot. Which it did. Despite the seemingly simple ingredients, this dish was bursting with flavor. As it bubbled and sputtered away in the oven, the most incredible aroma filled the house – mysteriously, it reminded me of cinnamon!
Vietnamese Braised Beef Rice Noodle Salad
- 1 Tbs oil
- 4 beef short ribs about 1.5 pounds, trimmed of excess fat
- 2 shallots thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 3 Tbs fish sauce
- 1 Tbs soy sauce
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbs crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 cups beef stock
- 2 servings rice noodles vermicelli
- 2 carrots peeled and shredded
- 1 cucumber peeled and shredded
- 1 jalapeno minced
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 lemon juiced
- 2 Tbs fish sauce
- ¼ cup cilantro or mint torn
- 2 Tbs chopped peanuts
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Heat the oil in a dutch oven or heavy, oven safe pot, over medium heat. Add the ribs and sear on each side. Remove the ribs and add the shallots and garlic. Cook until softened. Add the ribs and the remaining ingredients back into the pot. If necessary, add enough water to just cover the ribs. Cover and place in the oven. Cook for 3 hours, or until the meat is fork-tender.
- Remove beef from braising liquid and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve over noodle salad.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Remove from heat and add the noodles. Allow to stand for 15 minutes, or until the noodles have softened. Drain. Toss together the noodles with the remaining ingredients.
30 thoughts on “Vietnamese Braised Beef over Rice Noodle Salad”
Fantastic site. A lot of helpful info here. I?m sending it to several pals ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks to your effort!
This looks totally fabulous. First time have seen this recipe in your blog this looks awesome.
1. I was inspired by their passion for cooking. It totally inspired me to spend more time in the kitchen cooking quality meals!
2. I would definitely use the dutch oven to cook No-Knead Bread. It looks so good, but I don’t have anything that can withstand the really high temperature it requires to bake it.
I was inspired by the simplicity of the food and how a few flavorful ingredients and some patience can make something so beautiful (and yummy). That fresh rosemary got to me in particular; I could almost smell it!
As far as the dutch oven goes, I love to cook with wine, so my first instinct is to make a Coq au Vin or some such hearty stew. Then again, it’s almost summer and the farmers markets are starting to fill up with such lovely produce; I might be compelled to go with a vegetable soup or maybe even strawberry jam!
Oh wow this looks amazing. Not to seem like a suck up, but I think I would make this!
Most inspiring- probably the countryside! Wow! Or the way the cows are treated. Not so up my alley is the cooking with marrow! I’d probably taste it if someone made it, but make it myself…eeek!
I found the ingredients and the culture of Italy very inspiring. The food is simple and rustic and the personality of Dario, and I would assume most of Italy, is warm and inviting. What a wonderful place to visit.
I would probably make a braised beef or pork dish first. I can’t think of a better way to break in a new Dutch Oven.
Of course, by “by,” I meant “buy.” It’s too early!
1) I find Dario’s incredible passion most inspiring. His gestures, his voice, everything about him expresses his love for wholesome and well-crafted food. His thoughtful approach to food makes me want to go out and by some marrow to experiment with!
2) As a testament to another passionate and inspiring cook, my first meal would be Beef Bourguignon.
not being a meat-eater i can’t say i found the meal itself very inspiring. however, i do very much embrace the concept of good quality food prepared simply as being the basis of great cooking. and i did love the horses also – they looked both strong in gentle.
not sure what i would make in the dutch oven 1st – something w/ veggies and noodles perhaps. or a fruit cobbler since the summer fruits are just coming into season here.
I found Dario most inspiring. He is a man who knows his meat. Over his lifetime he as accumulated so much knowledge about meat, that he can look at any cut and immediately tell you the best way to prepare it. Without the help of his cookbooks or Google. I aspire to know that much about one ingredient. To have cooked it every way, to have made the best of it, and to have made the worst of it.
What would I make with my new Dutch oven? My mom’s pot roast recipe. Every time I make it I tweak it a bit, but it’s never as good as I remember hers to be.