Beef Pho (my version)

I’ve made a few types of beef pho, and the key seems to be heaps of cheap beef cuts with lots of marrow and other bits and pieces for flavour. This recipe may not be traditional, but it was good to eat. And there was extra to spare and freeze for another time. Before the photos, the basics:

The broth

1.5 kg (3 lb) ox tail

1.5 kg (3 lb) osso bucco (sliced beef shank)

2 brown onions, roughly chopped

1 head of garlic, roughly chopped

1 large piece of ginger, roughly chopped

2 stalks celery, roughly chopped

2 large carrots, roughly chopped

2 oranges, roughly chopped

12 whole star anise

1 whole cinnamon stick or medium piece of cassia bark

2 Tb whole coriander seed

2 Tb whole black pepper

To serve

The reserved beef (half was used, the other half frozen for later)

4 cups green beans, topped

2 cups shredded red cabbage

1 sweet red pepper and green pepper, thinly sliced

mung bean sprouts

mint leaves

red thai chilis, thinly sliced

flat rice noodles (250 g, 1 lb)

Brown off the the ox tail and osso bucco, set aside,  then saute the onion, garlic, ginger, celery, carrots, orange and spices. Place all into a large stock pot (10 litre, 2.5 gal minimum), top up with enough water to  just below the 10 litre / 2.5 gal mark. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 6-8 h. Let cool to room temperature and then pass the broth through a fine sieve, retaining the broth and meat. Pick out the meat from the bone and vegetable mass, and set aside.

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To serve, heat up about 3 litres (3 quarts) of broth in a soup pot. Add the vegetables and the beef, and let simmer until vegetables are done to your liking. Pre-cook the rice noodles as per the packet instructions and set aside. Using a large, deep and wide-mouthed bowl, place a generous amount of noodles in the bottom, and top up with the heated pho containing the beef and vegetables. Top with a handful of sprouts, mint leaves, and chilis.

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