Beef Pho Soup – The Gastro Killer

Posted: November 2, 2011 in Meat, Soup, Steak

Our house has been struck by the awful gastro virus of late. So I was after a meal that would be easily stomached by all and rid our system of nasties. Hence the Vietnamese beef noodle soup known as beef pho. Ideally Beef pho soup is best made with a fresh stock of marrow bones such as oxtail. However time is a luxury these days so I had to improvise and use a ready made beef stock. I prefer the massel brand. The beef traditionally is cut very thin and served on top of the noodle filled bowl. It is cooked when the hot stock is poured over. Fresh herbs, chilli and fried shallots are then placed on top. I also added some thai mint.

Beef Pho Soup

Recipe By: Taste forum s_kitty1981
Serving Size: 6
Cuisine: Thai
Main Ingredient: Beef

-= Ingredients =-
2 kg oxtail ; (you can also use other beef bones like shin etc)
4 liter Water
1 each onion, peeled
6 each whole cloves
115 g fresh ginger ; peeled, sliced and crushed
6 each star anise
1 each piece cassia bark or cinnamon approx 7-10 cm long
2 tbs fish sauce ; plus extra to taste
Salt ; and pepper
For ; the Soup –
Prepared ; beef stock
1 small onion ; peeled and thinly sliced
300 g fresh bean sprouts
12 each springs thai basil ; (substitute regular fresh basil if you can’t find it)
12 each springs saw tooth coriander ; (substitute with regular fresh coriander if you can’t find it)
4 each red bird’s eye chillies ; (de-seeded if you want less heat), thinly sliced
2 each limes, cut into 6 wedges
450 g dried rice noodles ; soaked in water until pliable, and drained
450 g rump or sirloin steak ; thinly sliced
Fried ; shallots and hoisin sauce to serve

-= Instructions =-
To make the stock, blanch oxtail in a large saucepan of boiling water for 15 mins and drain. Rinse saucepan, then return oxtail to the pan with the 3.8 litres of fresh water. Bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the whole onion, studded with cloves, ginger, star anise, cassia bark/cinnamon and fish sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer for 3 hours, or until reduced by about half, skimming any scum off the top. Strain the stock, discard the solids and remove any of the fat.

Cheat’s version of the stock – if you don’t want to make the stock from scratch, you can use ready made beef stock, probably about half the amount of water as you’d be reducing it , and simmer for 15 minutes with ginger, cassia/cinnamon, star anise, fish sauce and any extra season to taste if needed. After simmering for 15 minutes, strain and return to the pan.

Once stock is prepared, pour into a clean saucepan and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Adjust the seasoning to taste with fish sauce, then add sliced onion.

Arrange bean sprouts, basil, coriander, chillies and lime wedges in individual piles on a large platter.
Bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil over high heat, place a handful of the rice noodles in a sieve, then lower the sieve into the water for 5-7 seconds, or until the noodles are ‘al dente’. Lift the noodles out of the water and transfer to a large soup bowl, then repeat this process 5 more times for the remaining servings.

Top each bowl of noodles with thin slices of raw beef (approx 8 slices per serve). Ladle 350ml of the stock (including onion) over each serving.

To eat, scatter bean sprouts, herbs chillies and fried shallots over the soup, and squeeze over lime juice to taste. Service with hoisin sauce on the side (you can dip the beef into it).

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