Beef Pho

There is comfort in a steaming bowl of hot Pho. The effect of its cozy dopamine embrace is increased inversely to the falling mercury of a September Michigan thermometer. This spice filled dish is best enjoyed with an outdoor view where savory slurps are accompanied by scenes of colorful falling leaves.


4 pounds beef shank & knee soup bones
1 white onion, halved
4 quarts water
2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
5 slices fresh ginger
2 pods star anise
1 tablespoon coriander seed
1 tablespoon clove
1 tablespoon salt

1 8 ounce dried rice noodles
1 1/2 pounds thinly sliced beef sirloin
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
1 finely sliced jalapeño

1 1/2 cups bean sprouts
1 bunch Thai basil
1 lime, cut into 4 wedges
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup Sriracha

Process and Preparation

Preheat oven to 425°f (220°c). The base for this stock begins with beef shank and knee soup bones and a white onion. Place the assorted bones on a baking sheet with the onion sliced in half. Roast for 45 to 60 minutes, until meat and onion are browned. The onion may be ready earlier than the beef.

Next fill a large stock pot with 4 quarts of water. Add beef bones, onion, fish sauce, ginger, anise, coriander seed, clove, and salt. Bring up to approach a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 6 – 10 hours, or even overnight. The longer the better. While simmering, sediment floating on the top of the stock may be skimmed off and discarded.


Follow directions on rice noodle package for proper preparation. Add noodles to large bowl. Top with thinly sliced beef sirloin, cilantro, green onion and jalapeño. Next, pour hot pho broth over beef fully submerging. Let sit for a minute or two. Watch as the beef cooks in the broth turning from pink to brown. Before adding condiments, first sample and enjoy the broth. Now, add condiments as preferred. Recommend bean sprouts, torn Thai basil, and lime. Use chop sticks to dip ingredients into hoisin & sriracha if desired.


  • Roast bones & onion
  • Long simmer stock
  • Serve and enjoy


This is a great all around dish, but specifically good when it is cold outside. Given the time commitment to make stock, I recommended to make in excess. The extra stock can be saved for later use, and or reduced to a super flavorful demi-glace. Bonus, kitchen and home will be filled with the most lovely aroma. You are welcome.

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