Cook Time 3 hours 15 minutes
600g fresh rice noodles or 150 g dried ﬂat rice noodles
1 × (200g) beef eye ﬁllet, ﬁnely sliced
1 small onion, ﬁnely sliced
270g (3 cups) bean sprouts, rinsed
1 lemon, ﬁnely sliced
ﬁnely sliced red chilli, Thai basil leaves, coriander leaves, mint leaves and hoisin sauce, to serve
4 beef bones and/or oxtail
1 onion, quartered
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
8cm piece of ginger, unpeeled, sliced
1 long red chilli, halved lengthways
1 × (500g) beef brisket or chuck steak, halved
1-litre beef stock
3 tbsp ﬁsh sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
a squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
Pho (pronounced fur) is Vietnam’s much-loved beef noodle soup. In winter, when I move down to Melbourne for half the year to ﬁlm Everyday Gourmet, I spend a lot of time on Victoria Street in Richmond slurping comforting pho. I missed it so much when I got home, I decided to recreate my own version. It’s quite easy, but you need to be patient with the long cook. The key is to get good colour on the bones and onion while they’re roasting to help you achieve a deep golden broth. Balance the pho to your taste by adjusting the ﬁsh sauce, sugar and chilli when serving.
Preheat the oven to 220°C. To start on the pho broth, place the beef bones and/or oxtail and onion in a roasting tin and coat in a splash of vegetable oil. Roast for 25–35 minutes, turning halfway through to achieve a deep golden colour on the bones and onion. Add the spices and roast for a further 3–4 minutes.
Transfer the roasted bones, onion and spices to a stockpot, add the ginger, chilli, brisket or chuck steak, stock, ﬁsh sauce and brown sugar and pour over 1.5 litres of water to cover. Bring to the boil and skim off any impurities that rise to the surface. The impurities will continue to surface for about 20 minutes, so be sure to skim frequently.
Once the broth is clear of surface impurities, turn the heat down to low and cook for 3 hours. Strain and check the seasoning – it may need a little more ﬁsh sauce, sugar or a squeeze of lemon juice. Shred the brisket or chuck steak using two forks and return to the broth.
Blanch the fresh noodles in boiling water; or if using dried noodles, cook as per the packet instructions. Divide among four deep serving bowls. Scatter over the raw beef, onion, bean sprouts and lemon slices, then ladle over the hot pho broth. Sprinkle on the chilli and herbs and serve with the hoisin sauce alongside.
Slow Cooker Method:
Follow step 1.
Transfer the roasted bones, onion and spices to the slow cooker, then add the ginger, chilli, brisket or chuck steak, stock, ﬁsh sauce and brown sugar and pour over 1.5 litres of water. Cover and cook on low for 12 hours. Strain the broth and check the seasoning – it may need a little more ﬁsh sauce, sugar or a squeeze of lemon juice. Shred the brisket or chuck steak using two forks and return to the broth.
Follow step 4.