Pho is a Vietnamese dish gaining popularity worldwide. It’s a rich, complex soup that’s a little sweet with just that slight amount of heat. It can be made with a variety of meats, but my favourite is a good beef pho.
We used fish sauce, ginger, cinnamon, sugar, star anise, cloves, salt, and peppercorns to make a perfectly complex broth. This gave us the perfect broth to put the noodles in, and to finish it off, we placed super-thin uncooked beef strips in the broth, letting them cook from the heat.
Simple Beef PhoPrint Recipe
- 1 pound of lean ground beef
- 2 onions, quartered
- 12 cups of beef broth
- 1/4 cup of fish sauce
- 1 4-inch piece ginger, cut into thin rounds
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 tablespoons of palm sugar
- 6 pods of star anise
- 6 whole cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 pound of boneless strip steak, trimmed and halved
- 14-16 ounces of rice noodles
- 1/3 cup of chopped fresh cilantro
- 3 scallions, sliced thinly
- 2 jalapeno peppers sliced thinly
- Bean sprouts, Thai or Italian basil, Lime wedges, hoisin sauce, or Sriracha sauce for garnish
- Break the ground beef into rough 1-inch chunks and drop it into a Dutch oven. Add just enough water to cover by one inch. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring once or twice. Drain the beef in a colander and rinse well under running water. Wash out the pot and return the ground beef to the pot.
- Place 6 onion quarters in the pot with the ground beef. Slice the 2 remaining onion quarters as thin as possible and set them aside for garnish. Add the broth, 2 cups of water, fish sauce, ginger, cinnamon, sugar, star anise, cloves, 2 teaspoons of salt, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes.
- While the broth simmers, place the steak on a large plate and freeze until very firm (35 to 45 minutes). Once firm, cut against the grain into 1/8-inch-thick-slices. Return the steak to the plate and refrigerate it until needed.
- Pour the broth through a colander set in a large bowl. Discard the solids. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer lined with triple thickness cheesecloth. Add water as needed to equal 11 cups. Return the broth to the pot and season with extra sugar and salt if needed. Cover and keep warm over low heat.
- Place the noodles in a large container and cover them with hot tap water. Soak until the noodles are pliable, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the noodles. Meanwhile, boil 4 quarts of water in a large pot. Add the drained noodles and cook until almost tender (30 to 60 seconds). Drain immediately and divide the noodles among the individual bowls.
- Bring the broth to a rolling boil over high heat. Divide the steak among the individual bowls, shingling the slices on top of the noodles. Pile the reserved onion slices on top of the steak slices and sprinkle with cilantro, jalapeno peppers, and scallions if using.
- Ladle the hot broth into each bowl. Serve immediately, passing the bean sprouts, basil sprigs, lime wedges, hoisin, Sriracha, and extra fish sauce separately.