1 kg Shin beef bones
340 g Lean stewing beef
5 1/4 pints Water
1 Onion, unpeeled and halved
3 Ginger, unpeeled and halved
1 Cinnamon stick
6 Coriander seeds
4 Star anise
2 Carrots, unpeeled, cut into chunks
225 g Thick steak in one piece
225 g Rice noodles
455 g Flat, thick dried noodles
2 tablespoon Nuoc Cham (fish sauce)
1 Brown onion, thinly sliced
3 Green onions (scallions), finely chopped
125 g Beansprouts
50 g Coriander (cilantro) leaves, torn into sprigs
50 g Mint leaves, chopped
1 Red chili pepper, seeded and sliced into rings
2 Limes cut into wedges
Pour the water into a large pot. Add the shin bones and beef. Bring to the boil and skim the surface. Turn heat to medium-low, partially cover and simmer for two hours. skimming often, before add in remaining broth ingredients. Simmer another 90 minutes and remove from heat. Leave to cool.
Strain the broth through a fine sieve and discard bones, carrots, onion and spices. Skim fat from broth. Cut the beef finely across the grain to paper thinness. Reserve.
Soak rice noodles in warm water about 20 minutes until soft, drain and reserve.
Return broth pot to heat. Boil with Nuoc Cham then reduce heat to very low. Fill a separate big pot three-quarters full of water and boil, add noodles and rinsed bean sprouts.
Continue cooking until noodles are tender but not mushy. Bean sprouts should retain some crispness.
Serve boiling broth first then drain noodles into 6 bowls, top equally with beef, raw onion rings, chopped green onions (scallions), and thin raw steak slices, which will par-cook in the bowls.
Garnish with coriander and mint leaves.
The beef will be easiest to slice if semi-frozen from the freezer. Diners help themselves to chili rings and lime wedges. This recipe can also be adapted for chicken which takes less time to cook.
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