No problem. This is the recipe for pho in my small slowcooker (I think 3.5 L) that I've been messing with. I tweak it a little each time. I can start it before I drop off my kids at school and have it ready for dinner or start it just before I fall asleep and have it for breakfast the next day. It's not as good as the traditional method, but probably gets you 90% there with much less effort. I'm sure you could translate this to a pressure cooker with some similar results, but much quicker (I'd love to see someone try it!) My slowcooker is on the small side so this recipe yields a little over 2 quarts of pho broth. Depending on how much noodles and size of the bowl that's about 4 adult bowls, maybe more if you stretch. You can easily double and triple the quantities in a larger slowcooker to make more. It's also a bit of a streamlined recipe so instead of using fresh spices, I use a premade pho spice tea bag from Pho Hoa. I still add a couple star anise and a 2-3 in. cinnamon stick because I like those smells and flavors. Also, I skip the marrow bones that I would use in the traditional method, but if you have some marrow bones you can add a couple. In my slowcooker, real estate is at a premium and I want to get as much broth as possible. The slow cooker process means you aren't constantly skimming the surface so the broth is not as clear, but you still get the beefy richness. Parboil in advance and fine cheesecloth strain at the end help a lot though. My family never uses fish sauce in the pho broth while it is cooking. It makes it too funky. Add it at the table to your individual bowl. You will find a lot of pho recipes that call for adding daikon radish or carrots for sweetness. My family like to use sweet onions and dried red plums, but the plums are optional. You could always just use more rock sugar. One last thing to keep in mind, you might be surprised at the amount of salt that goes into the broth to get it "right"... just go real easy because you can't take it out once it's in!
Here's a quick write up on the instructions and a photo album of the process to help visualize http://imgur.com/a/meVn7
Measurements are just estimates as you have to season again towards the end to get the flavor right.
-1.5 lbs of beef short ribs or oxtail (or both!)
-1 medium sweet onion
-2 inch knob of ginger
-a couple small pieces of rock sugar
-a 2-3 in. stick of cinamon
-2-3 star anise
-3 dried red plums (optional)
-.5 tablespoon salt
-1 Pho Hoa spice tea bag (Yes I'm cheating, but that's the point!)
-1 bunch cilantro
-1 bunch green onions/scallions
1. Split onion in half and remove outer shell.
2. Place half of the sweet onion and ginger directly over flame on gas oven. Alternatively, put under broiler for 5 min or so. Get a good char on it.
3. Bring pot of water to boil. Add some salt and parboil short ribs/oxtail for 5 minutes. Scum and other nastiness will rise up. You may have to do it in batches if your pot is too small.
4. Dump all water and meats into a colander in sink. Rinse all the meats with cold water and rub away any additional scum that is still on the surface of the meat.
5. Add the charred onion, charred ginger, short ribs/oxtail, rock sugar, dried red plums, .5 tablespoon salt, star anise and cinnamon stick to the slow cooker and fill with water.
6. Set on Low for 8 hours.
7. Slice remaining half onion, chop cilantro and slice the scallions. Mix together or leave separate in case someone doesn't like one of the garnishes.
8. Go to bed. Wake up in the morning.
9. From slowcooker, remove/discard the onions, ginger, cinnamon, plums, star anise. Don't have to be perfect as you will strain it anyways.
10. Carefully remove the meats. They'll be fall apart tender. You can shred them or put them on a plate in the freezer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes in the freezer, you can do thin slices of the meat to add to your pho. If it's oxtail, just shred it as the cut doesn't lend itself to slicing.
11. Strain the broth to remove as much of the impurities as you can. I used cheese cloth. You can use a fine mesh strainer. This step is not required, but it will make the broth much more clear and is worth it.
12. You can return the broth to the slow cooker or put it in a pot to bring it back up to near boiling temp.
13. Put 1 Pho Hoa spice bag into the pho broth. Leave in for about 15 minutes or so and discard the bag. Add more salt or rock sugar to taste.
14. Cook rice noodles per instructions. I have fresh rice noodles so it's just dipping in boiling water for like 15 seconds.
15. Assemble the bowl. Rice noodles first, add some of the sliced/shredded meat, garnish with onions, scallions and cilantro.
16. Ladle on the broth.
17. Serve with herbs, hoison, sriracha and limes (and fish sauce if you want more saltiness).