15 cups water
2 1/2 lbs beef bones
12 cloves garlic smashed
3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and bruised
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
6 star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons white pepper
8 beef meatballs, cut in half
12 oz dried rice noodle
1 lb beef sirloin, thinly sliced
2 large scallions, finely chopped
1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
Fresh basil leaves
Fresh cilantro leaves
Fresh bird’s eye chili peppers, chopped
In a large stock pot, bring the water to a vigorous boil on high heat. Add the beef bones and bring back to a vigorous boil. Skim off any foam that arises. Reduce to medium heat, adding the smashed garlic, ginger, onion, star anise and cinnamon sticks. Stir to gently combine and simmer for 1 hour, continuing to skim off any foam.
Remove the beef bones, garlic, ginger, onion, star anise and cinnamon, alternately using a ladle and strainer to skim off any remaining foam off the broth. Add the fish sauce, salt, sugar and white pepper to the broth, stirring until combined. Gently toss in the halved beef meatballs and reduce the heat to very low. Allow the broth to simmer gently.
In a separate pot, bring water to a boil on high heat. Add the dried rice noodles to the boiling water and cook for about 5 minutes or so until the noodles are tender. Drain and rinse under cold water. Divide the drained noodles into 4 serving bowls.
Gently place the thin slices of raw sirloin beef on top of the noodles. Ladle the hot broth slowly over the beef and noodles, allowing the broth to slide over the beef. Garnish with the chopped scallions and sliced onions. Serve the remaining garnish items on the side along with popular condiments such as Hoisin sauce and Sriracha sauce.