something i’ve always wanted to try homemade, and something i’m sure i’ll never master – considering i’ve had absolutely incredible pho from the kitchen of a friend’s mother. but it was worth a shot. so when i came across this article in the wsj about a gal who craved pho in a new town without it, i had to have a go at it. now of course, we seattle-ites now have pho restaurants popping up at the ratio of about 1 every 4 starbucks (which is quite a lot) – but the idea of filling your home with the warmth and love that goes into a good soup stock in the middle of fall was irresistible. so here’s how it went (basically, quite a bit of seemingly endless simmering).
3 lbs boneless beef brisket, fat attached
1 (4-inch) piece ginger
5 star anise
1 tbs cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tbs salt
1 tbs sugar
1 (16 oz) package dried bah pho rice noodles
1/2 white onion
1 lb sirloin
1/3 cup fresh thai basil leaves
1/3 cup cilantro
1/3 cup mung bean sprouts
2 limes, cut into wedges
1/3 cup sriracha sauce
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
in a large pot, bring 1 inch of water to a boil. add marrow bones and brisket, cover and steam for 15 minutes.
meanwhile, char ginger under broiler, turning it until blackened all over, about 10 minutes. when cool enough to handle, scrape off blackened skin.
in a soup pot, bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. add bones, brisket and ginger to pot. simmer 5 hours, then remove brisket and set aside in refrigerator simmer broth 8 hours more, skimming impurities from top occasionally.
near the end of simmering, place a skillet over medium heat and toast star anise, cardamom, cinnamon, and peppercorns until fragrant, about 3 minutes. put spices in a spice sachet and add to broth along with slat and sugar. simmer 30 minutes more. remove sachet and bones, strain broth and keep hot.
put noodles in a bowl, cover with boiling water and soak 10 minutes. rinse under cold water and drain.
slice onion and scallions very thinly. thinly slice reserved brisket and raw sirloin against the grain, discarding fat. divide noodles, onions, scallions, brisket and sirloin among serving bowls, and pour hot broth over and into bowls. serve immediately with basil, cilantro, sprouts, jalepeno, lime wedges and sriracha and hoisin sauces on side for garnish.