My butcher could not thinly slice my steak meat so he cut it into as thin a slice as he could and I cut all the meat into strips. I let my broth simmer for the full 3 hours baby (patience is a virtue) because I wanted the richer flavor. You can just cook your broth for 30-50 minutes for a lighter broth. Or, if you go for the full 3 hours like I did and the flavor is too rich for you, just add some water towards the end and taste. COOK TIME: Minimum - about 1 hour to maximum 3 hours, 30 mins
Author: Hip Foodie Mom, recipe from Aida Mollenkamp
Recipe type: Main
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 yellow onions, halved
One 3-inch piece fresh ginger, skinned and halved
4 quarts beef stock or low-sodium beef broth
One 3-inch cinnamon stick
3 star anise pieces (only put in 3)
3 whole cloves
1/3 cup fish sauce
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1-2 cups water (optional; I added mine towards the end after I tasted the broth)
FOR THE PHO:
One 12-ounce package flat rice noodles or brown rice noodles (I love Annie Chun's brown rice noodles. I have only found these at Whole Foods)
1 lb. flank steak, London broil, sirloin or eye of round, sliced as thin as possible or cut into strips
2-3 Thai chiles, trimmed and thinly sliced (for heat)
2-3 handfuls of bean sprouts
1 bunch fresh Thai basil
1 bunch fresh mint or mint medley
1 white onion, sliced paper thin
Sriracha sauce, for serving
2 limes, cut into wedges, for serving
FOR THE BROTH:
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the onion and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and caramelized, about 7-10 minutes.
Add all the remaining broth ingredients and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to low, partially cover, and simmer until the broth is infused with flavors, at least 30 minutes, for a very light flavor, and up to 3 hours for a richer flavor. Taste the broth and add more fish sauce, salt or sugar as needed. (Because you are going to add unsalted ingredients/garnish at the end, go ahead and make this broth a touch salty.) Strain the broth and set aside until ready to use.
FOR THE PHO:
Return the broth to the pot and place over medium-high heat. When the broth simmers, add the meat. The meat will cook almost instantaneously because it is sliced thin or cut into thin strips. About 2-3 minutes later, add the brown rice noodles and cook according to package directions or until tender (should be about 4-5 minutes only).
Meanwhile, place the remaining ingredients on a serving platter. When ready to eat, fill the soup bowls with the noodles and the meat. Ladle broth into each bowl, serve and let guests garnish the pho to their liking.
Alternatively, if you are able to get your meat sliced super thin, you can save it and at the end, fill the soup bowls with the noodles and top with the raw meat slices. Ladle the broth and serve.
Recipe by Hip Foodie Mom at http://hipfoodiemom.com/2012/10/23/faux-pho-bo-for-the-keys-to-the-kitchen-virtual-dinner-party/