Authentic Beef Pho

When Aaron and I were in Seattle we ate at a Vietnamese Pho restaurant. I fell in love with the healthiness and simpleness of the soup, so I decided to try making it at home.
What is pho? It is a broth-based soup that has the most amazing flavors due to the unique spices that are added. I love how it comforting it is, especially on a cold fall day. It is super easy and cheap to make. The only hard part is driving yourself to an Asian specialty foods store and gathering the ingredients. Once you have all the ingredients it is very easy to make a large batch of broth and freeze it for later. 

Authentic Beef Pho
Loosely based off this recipe

4 pounds beef soup bones
1 onion, unpeeled and cut in half
5 slices fresh ginger
2 pods star anise
3 pods cardamom
2 whole cloves
1 stick cinnamon
1 tablespoon salt
2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
4 quarts water
1 (8 ounce) package dried rice noodles
1 1/2 pounds beef top sirloin, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
1 1/2 cups bean sprouts
1 bunch Thai basil
1 lime, cut into 4 wedges
1/4 cup hoisin sauce (optional)
1/4 cup chile-garlic sauce (such as Sriracha®) (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

Place beef bones on a baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven until browned, about 1 hour.

Place onion on a baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven until blackened and soft, about 45 minutes.

Place spices in cheese cloth and tie with string. This is optional, but makes it so much easier to remove when the broth is done cooking.

Place bones, onion, salt, spices, and fish sauce in crock pot and cover with 3 quarts of water. Cook on low for 6 to 10 hours. Strain the broth into a saucepan and set aside.

Place rice noodles in large bowl filled with room temperature water and allow to soak for 1 hour. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and after the noodles have soaked, place them in the boiling water for 1 minute. Bring stock to a simmer.

Divide noodles among 4 serving bowls; top with sirloin, cilantro, and green onion.

Pour hot broth over the top. Stir and let sit until the beef is partially cooked and no longer pink, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve with bean sprouts, Thai basil, lime wedges, hoisin sauce, and chile-garlic sauce on the side.

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