Do not make this if you are pressed for time in the beginning and want to dump everything in the slow cooker — roast the onion and ginger and toast the spices the night before and refrigerate them, but do not skip that step or you will miss the point. Also, if you slice the top round thinly and keep the broth warm enough, the meat will cook from the heat of the broth. Partially freezing the top round helps with this, and using a very sharp knife. If you can’t find the cardamom and star anise at your store, try shopping online. I buy from penzeys.com and am never disappointed. There are a lot of ingredients in this recipe, but if you’ve ever eaten pho in a good noodle shop, you understand why it’s worth the effort.
Beef Pho Noodle Soup in the Slow Cooker
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 2" piece of fresh ginger, peeled and halved lengthwise
- 3 green cardamom pods
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 whole star anise
- 1 - 1.5 lbs beef brisket, trimmed of most fat
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 Tbsp fish sauce (more if needed)
- 2 tsp sugar
- 6 c beef broth
- 3 c water
- 14 oz rice vermicelli noodles
- 8 oz lean top round steak UNCOOKED, and very thinly sliced
- fresh Thai basil (for serving)
- fresh cilantro (for serving)
- fresh mint (for serving)
- fresh mung bean sprouts (for serving)
- thinly sliced jalapenos (for serving)
- lime wedges (for serving)
- Sriracha (for serving)
- Heat the oven to 425
- On a baking sheet, arrange onion and ginger and roast until lightly charred, about 10 minutes
- In a small dry skillet over medium, roast cardamom, anise, and cinnamon for 3-4 minutes.
- In the slow cooker, combine roasted onion and ginger with the toasted spices. Add the brisket, garlic, fish sauce, sugar, beef broth, and water.
- Cover, cook on low 8-9 hours.
- Skim any solids or fat from the surface. Strain through a sieve or fine mesh strainer into a stockpot on the stove and keep warm on medium-low.
- Remove brisket and slice thinly, but discard everything else from sieve.
- Season the broth with additional fish sauce and/or salt if desired.
- Cook the rice noodles according to package directions; drain. Divide among bowls. Top with brisket and raw top round. Por hot broth over.
- Serve with basil, mint, bean sprouts, cilantro, lime wedges and Sriracha.