Hanoi Beef and Rice-Noodle Soup (Pho Bac)

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Title: Hanoi Beef and Rice-Noodle Soup (Pho Bac)
Yield: 1 Servings
Categories: Vietnamese, Beef


5 lb Beef bones with marrow
5 lb Oxtails
2 lb Short rib plate, or 1 lb
-flank steak
2 lg Onions, unpeeled, halved
-and studded with 8 whole
3 Shallots, unpeeled
2 oz Fresh ginger root, unpeeled
-in one piece
8 Star anise
1 Cinnamon stick
4 md Parsnips, cut into 2-inch
2 ts Salt
1 lb Beef sirloin
2 Scallions, thinly sliced
1 tb Shredded coriander
2 md Onions, sliced paper-thin
1/4 c Hot chili sauce (tuong ot
-or sriracha sauce)
1 lb 1/4-inch-wide dried rice
-sticks (banh pho)
1/2 c Nuoc mam (Vietnamese fish
Freshly ground black pepper

2 c Fresh bean sprouts
2 Fresh red chile peppers,
2 Limes, cut into wedges
1 bn Of fresh mint, separated
-into leaves
1 bn Fresh Asian basil *
* or regular fresh basil,
-separated into leaves

"This sublime recipe comes from my mother, a native of Hanoi. She
always made the beef stock in large quantities++enough for at least 3
meals++and froze it in batches until needed."
In order to cut the beef into paper-thin slices, freeze the pieces of
meat for 30 minutes before slicing.
The night before, clean the bones under cold running water and soak
overnight in a pot with water to cover at room temperature. (This will
help loosen the impurities inside the bones. When heat is applied, these
impurities are released and come to the top much faster and can be
removed, therefore, producing a clear broth.)
Place the beef bones, oxtails and short rib plate in a large stockpot.
Add water to cover and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes. Drain. Rinse
the pot and the bones.
Return the bones to the pot and add 6 quarts of water. Bring to a boil.
Skim the surface to remove the foam and fat. Stir the bones in the bottom
of the pot from time to time to free the impurities. Continue skimming
until the foam ceases to rise. Add 3 quarts more water and bring to a
boil. Skim off all the residue that forms on the top. Turn the heat to
low and simmer.
Meanwhile, char the clove-studded onions, shallots and ginger directly
over a gas burner or under the broiler until they release their fragrant
odors. Tie the charred vegetables, star anise and cinnamon stick in a
double thickness of dampened cheesecloth. Add the spice bag, parsnips and
salt to the simmering broth. Simmer for 1 hour.
Remove the short rib plates. Pull the meat away from the bones. Reserve
the meat and return the bones to the pot. Simmer the broth, uncovered,
for 4 to 5 hours. Keep an eye on it; as the liquid boils away, add enough
fresh water to cover the bones.
Meanwhile, slice the beef sirloin against the grain into paper-thin
slices, roughly 2 by 2-inches in size. Slice the reserved short rib meat
paper-thin. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the scallions, coriander and half of the slice
onions. Place the remaining sliced onions in a small bowl and stir in the
hot chili sauce. Blend well.
Soak the rice sticks in warm water for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
When the broth is ready, remove and discard all of the bones. Strain the
broth through a strainer or colander lined with a double layer of dampened
cheesecloth into a clean pot. Add the fish sauce and bring the broth to a
boil. Reduce the heat and keep the broth at a bare simmer.
In another pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Drain the noodles,
then drop them in the boiling water. Drain immediately. Divide the
noodles among 4 large soup bowls. Top the noodles with the sliced meats.
bring the broth to a rolling boil. Ladle the broth directly over the meat
in each bowl (the boiling broth will cook the raw beef instantly). Garnish
with the scallion mixture and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve the onions in hot chili sauce and the accompaniments on the side.
Each diner will add these ingredients as desired. Yield: 4 servings.
From "The Foods of Vietnam" by Nicole Rauthier. Stewart, Tabori &
Chang. 1989.
Posted by Stephen Ceideberg; December 28 1991.
File ftp://ftp.idiscover.co.uk/pub/food/mealmaster/recipes/cberg2.zip