Sometimes, I omit the 1lb of beef meat in the broth (you’ll see
I’ve made it optional) – as I’ve found that as long as I have good
bones, the broth will have enough flavor to not need the extra beef
4″ nub of ginger, halved lengthwise
5-6 lbs of
good beef bones, preferably leg and knuckle
1 lb of beef meat –
chuck, brisket, rump, cut into large slices [optional]
6 quarts of
1 package of Pho Spices [1 cinnamon stick, 1 tbl coriander
seeds, 1 tbl fennel seeds, 5 whole star anise, 1 cardamom pod, 6 whole
cloves - in mesh bag]
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt (halve if using
regular table salt)
1/4 cup fish sauce
1 inch chunk of yellow rock sugar (about 1 oz) – or 1oz of regular
rice noodles (dried or fresh)
cooked beef from the broth
flank, london broil, sirloin or eye of round, sliced as thin as
big handful of each: mint, cilantro, basil
cut into wedges
2-3 chili peppers, sliced
2 big handfuls of bean
Sriracha hot sauce
Char: Turn your
broiler on high and move rack to the highest spot. Place ginger and
onions on baking sheet. Brush just a bit of cooking oil on the cut side
of each. Broil on high until ginger and onions begin to char. Turn over
and continue to char. This should take a total of 10-15 minutes.
Parboil the bones:
Fill large pot (12-qt capacity) with cool water. Boil water, and then
add the bones, keeping the heat on high. Boil vigorously for 10 minutes.
Drain, rinse the bones and rinse out the pot. Refill pot with bones and
6 qts of cool water. Bring to boil over high heat and lower to simmer.
Using a ladle or a fine mesh strainer, remove any scum that rises to the
Boil broth: Add
ginger, onion, spice packet, beef, sugar, fish sauce,
salt and simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the beef meat and set
aside (you’ll be eating this meat later in the bowls) Continue
simmering for another 1 1/2 hours. Strain broth and return the broth to
the pot. Taste broth and adjust seasoning – this is a
crucial step. If the broth’s flavor doesn’t quite shine yet, add 2
teaspoons more of fish sauce, large pinch of salt and a small nugget of
rock sugar (or 1 teaspoon of regular sugar). Keep doing this until the
broth tastes perfect.
Prepare noodles & meat:
Slice your flank/london broil/sirloin as thin as possible – try
freezing for 15 minutes prior to slicing to make it easier. Remember the
cooked beef meat that was part of your broth? Cut or shred the meat and
set aside. Arrange all other ingredients on a platter for the table.
Your guests will "assemble” their own bowls. Follow the directions on
your package of noodles – there are many different sizes and widths of
rice noodles, so make sure you read the directions. For some fresh rice
noodles, just a quick 5 second blanch in hot water is all that’s needed.
The package that I purchased (above) – needed about 45 seconds in
Ladling: Bring your
broth back to a boil. Line up your soup bowls next to the stove. Fill
each bowl with rice noodles, shredded cooked beef and raw meat slices.
As soon as the broth comes back to a boil, ladle into each bowl. the hot
broth will cook your raw beef slices. Serve immediately. Guests can
garnish their own bowls as they wish.