Another warming soup to celebrate the 2021 Lunar New Year, the Year of the Metal Ox! That sounds pretty badass and makes me want to listen to some AC/DC…the Bon Scott era stuff. Particularly Get It Hot because that is how you want your PHO! Hot enough to cook the thinly sliced sirloin that is added at the very end. I usually link music to go with each recipe at the bottom of my pages but this came out on the first paragraph! Rock out and keep reading…there’s another hot song at the end of this post. Keeping the theme you guys I went to art school and can not help the conceptualism.
Ok back to the recipe for the flavor attack your mouth is going to get when it tastes all of these spices in the broth! This broth takes approximately 6 hours to make, but there is a lot of downtime, so don’t let that inhibit you from accepting this challenge. Your home will smell intensely amazing the entire time this is simmering. Not just the kitchen.
At the base of this post I’ve included some recommendations if you live in an area where Asian grocery stores are limited or nonexistent, especially for items like rock sugar, star anise pods, black cardamom pods (you will only have to buy these once in your life… so splurge!). You are also going to want a huge stockpot, at least 8 quarts. I did mine in a puny 6 quart stock pot so guess what I just ordered. You WANT as much broth as you can get out of this, believe me. The size of rice noodles you should use seem to be of personal preference. I like a little bit of a thicker sized noodle, probably because I am not that great with chop sticks. Yep. Check out the thinner rice stick noodles vs. thicker rice noodles and choose for yourself.
This is a beautiful beef soup bone that you can find at your local butcher shop. I only buy meat from trusted sources. Traditional recipes use oxtails, but you can use either. The meat on this bone will fall off and be so tender! Boil the bone and the beef roast for 5 minutes (starting from cold water and time when it starts to boil), strain it, and clean the pan so the impurities don’t affect your broth. It will be much cleaner. Then put it all back in the pot with 5 quarts of water.
All of the wonderful spices and traditional liquids you need to make pho. When you char the star anise pods, cinnamon sticks, black cardamom pod, coriander seeds, whole cloves, and fennel seeds, THAT is what is going to be the basis of your pho turning out amazing and leaving your home smelling so dang good. SO DANG GOOD!
You can flame these up directly with the fire from your gas stove (use metal tongs and a hot pad), and if you are like me and have an electric stove then it’s easy to char them in a cast iron pan on medium high heat. Another option is to broil them on high for 5 minutes. You do you (did I just say that?).
This part of the recipe happens after you have pre-boiled your meat to strain impurities, so make sure you follow the directions in the recipe and your broth will turn out nice and clean. Keep skimming fat, periodically, as you see it floating on top.
Welcome to the beginning of your kitchen smelling AMAZING! Keep an eye when you toast these so they don’t burn.
Then add your toasted spices to the clean broth! This is another key to getting this broth right. I used a stainless steel tea ball to contain my spices (cinnamon stick went in solo since it didn’t fit). This was my ingenious replacement for cheesecloth, which will work too, but this is just slick because there is a hook on the end of the chain that sits nicely on the rim of the soup pot.
Pho Dat! Cold Weather
- February 18, 2021
- 6 hr
- Print this
- 2 Lb beef roast
- 2 Lb beef soup bone, or oxtail
- 2 white onions, peeled and cut in half
- 3 pieces 3 inch ginger root, peeled and halved
- 4 green onions
- 1/3 C fish sauce
- 1/4 C rock sugar
- 8 star anise pods
- 8 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 tsp fennel seed
- 1 black cardamom pod (optional)
- 1 tsp coriander seeds (optional)
- Rice noodles (your preference)
- 1 Lb sirloin steak, sliced very thin
- 2-3 C mung bean sprouts
- 1 C each chopped basil, cilantro, and mint (for serving)
- 1/2 C chopped green onions (for serving)
- Lime wedges, hoisin sauce, and chili paste (for serving)
- Step 1
- Fill stockpot with water, add beef bone and roast to boil for 5 minutes.
- Step 2
- Char onions and ginger in cast iron pan (or over a flame, or broil).
- Step 3
- Strain beef and rinse well. Clean stockpot thoroughly. Seriously.
- Step 4
- Return meat to pot and add 5 quarts clean water over medium high heat.
- Step 5
- Add charred onions and ginger, green onions, fish sauce, and rock sugar to pot.
- Step 6
- Meanwhile toast star anise pods, cloves, cinnamon, fennel seed, cardamom pod, and coriander seeds in a pan. When toasted, put in stainless tea bag strainer and add to the side of the pot, or just bob it in there.
- Step 7
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1.5 hours. Optional at this time to remove the roast from the pot, chill with ice water and leave in fridge until ready to serve. I like the meat falling apart so I leave it in there.
- Step 8
- Cook for 4 more hours, at a simmer. Skim the fat occasionally.
- Step 9
- Around 3:45 hours put sirloin in freezer, so it is easier to slice very thin.
- Step 10
- Prepare rice noodles, cool with cold water, and keep in strainer with a bit of oil if desired, to keep them from sticking together.
- Step 11
- Pull the meat apart and discard any fatty pieces. If you removed the beef roast and refrigerated, now is the time to slice it up for serving.
- Step 12
- Put noodles in serving bowls, pour hot broth over them, and top with thinly sliced sirloin (this cooks right in the broth). Each diner tops with mung bean sprouts, basil, cilantro, mint, chopped green onions, lime wedges, hoisin sauce, and chili paste to taste.
- Step 13
- Let broth cool, and chill in refrigerator overnight to really get the fat removed for further eating pleasure!
Song for the Prep: Hotter Than Hell by KISS
Don’t burn your tongue on the hot af broth! …feeling hot hot hot!