I don’t think I will ever get tired of this dish! Seriously. Is fresh, warm, comforting and perfectly delicious. I honestly can’t seem to get enough. I often make it on a Sunday afternoon and eat leftovers for 3 days, always shaking my head when I pour the last ladle into my bowl.
While taking a class in Enid, OK last winter, Mom and I were invited to have dinner with our teacher, Monica Currado. We drove around for awhile until we stumbled upon a Vietnamese Restaurant named Mango Tree. A tiny hole in the wall of a strip mall. Monica advised we order the Pho. I quickly agreed as my tummy shrieked with hunger.
The bowls were served with a side of fresh greens, limes and bean sprouts. I was perplexed as I watched Monica dive into the greens, toss them into her soup, and pull noodles to her mouth with the chopsticks. I shrugged and followed suit. As I lifted chopsticks full of meat, noodles and greens to my mouth, I was sold. “What is this stuff?” I asked as I shoved mouthful after mouthful of the luscious soup into my face.
As soon as I got home, I knew I needed to find a good recipe! There were all kinds of recipes and they all seemed to take a long time with many steps. Bone broth can take a long time to make and I wanted something I could put on early afternoon and eat for dinner. This is where meat stock came to the rescue!
Meat stock is especially healing for those who have very sensitive guts. If your gut has a lot of healing to do, then meat stock is the thing for you! It’s great for youngins too.
Serves 4 adults
3lbs Beef with Bone In (Beef Shank, Oxtail, Beef Ribs, etc)
4 quarts water
5 large slices of ginger
1 onion cut in half with skin
2-3 star of anise pods
2 1/2 Tbsp of fish sauce
1 package rice noodles
2-3 limes sliced
1/2 chopped cilantro
4-5 green onions thinly sliced
2 cups of bean sprouts
1 bunch basil
Place the beef in a 4-5 quart pot or dutch oven. Cover with water. Bring to a boil. A layer of scum will rise to the top. Skim this off with a strainer. Once the scum is cleared from the top, turn temp down to warm, put in ginger, onion, star of anise and fish sauce. Cover and let simmer for 5-6 hours or until meat falls off the bone. DO NOT ADD SALT. If you add salt at this stage, the meat will be rubbery. Add salt just before serving.
As the stock finishes, place limes, cilantro, green onions, bean sprouts and basil on a serving plate. You can make individual plates, or one communal plate for everyone to serve themselves from. Set on table with salt and Sriracha.
Remove meat, bones, ginger, onion, and star of anise from pot. Throw away ginger, onion and star of anise. Put bones in a bag and freeze. Turn stock up to boil. Once boiling, cook rice noodles according to manufacturer’s directions. Meanwhile, shred cooked beef. Separate into serving bowls. Separate cooked noodles into serving bowls and ladle stock over them.
To eat: Season with salt. Place cilantro, green onions, basil and bean sprouts on the stock. Squeeze a lime wedge into the broth. Drop some Sriracha on top of everything, if desired. Chopsticks and spoons are used to eat the soup.
Original Recipe found here: