Vietnamese Beef Pho

From Cook's Illustrated | January/February 2014

Why this recipe works:

To produce Vietnamese beef pho broth with the flavor and complexity of the real deal without the fuss, we blanch ground beef in water to make the base for our broth. To the broth, we add fish sauce, ginger, cinnamon, sugar, star anise, cloves, salt, and peppercorns to bring complex spice… read more

To produce Vietnamese beef pho broth with the flavor and complexity of the real deal without the fuss, we blanch ground beef in water to make the base for our broth. To the broth, we add fish sauce, ginger, cinnamon, sugar, star anise, cloves, salt, and peppercorns to bring complex spice notes. To serve, we add cooked rice noodles plus wafer-thin slices of easy-to-find strip steak, which cook in the hot broth. We also served the traditional garnishes: bean sprouts, basil sprigs, lime wedges, hoisin, Sriracha, and extra fish sauce.

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Vietnamese Beef Pho

To make this one-pot meal at home, we’d need to figure out a way to build a broth as clear and beefy as the South Asian original but in a fraction of the time—no bones about it.

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Serves 4 to 6

Our favorite store-bought beef broth is Rachael Ray Stock-in-a-Box All-Natural Beef Flavored Stock. Use a Dutch oven that holds 6 quarts or more. An equal weight of tri-tip steak or blade steak can be substituted for the strip steak; make sure to trim all connective tissue and excess fat. One 14- or 16-ounce package of rice noodles will serve four to six. Look for noodles that are about 1/8 inch wide; these are often labeled “small.” Don’t use Thai Kitchen Stir-Fry Rice Noodles since they are too thick and don’t adequately soak up the broth.

Ingredients

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