Bun Bo Hue
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- 2 POUNDS OXTAIL, CUT INTO 2- TO 3-INCH PIECES
- 2 POUNDS BEEF SHANK BONES, CUT INTO 2- TO 3-INCH PIECES (ASK YOUR BUTCHER TO DO THIS)
- 2 POUNDS PORK NECK BONES
- 1 POUND BEEF BRISKET
- 8 LEMONGRASS STALKS
- 8 QUARTS WATER
- 1 1/2 TEASPOONS RED PEPPER FLAKES
- 1 TEASPOON ANNATTO SEEDS*
- 2 TABLESPOONS CANOLA OIL
- 2 LARGE SHALLOTS, SLICED
- 1 TEASPOON MINCED GARLIC
- 1/4 CUP FINELY CHOPPED LEMONGRASS
- 2 TEASPOONS SHRIMP PASTE*
- 2 TEASPOONS FISH SAUCE, OR TO TASTE
- 2 TEASPOONS SUGAR
- FRESH RICE NOODLES (ROUND)
- THAI BASIL
- SLICED GREEN ONIONS
- LIME WEDGES
- WHITE ONION, THINLY SLICED
- In your largest pot (make sure it’s big enough to fit the bones and water to cover by 1 inch) bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Carefully add in the bones and boil for 3 minutes. Remove the bones and pour out the water. Rinse the bones under running water. This is to force out impurities and will make it so you’re skimming your broth less and will ensure a clearer stock.
- When the bones are rinsed clean, return them to the pot (make sure you wash the pot first) and add in the brisket.
- Cut the lemongrass stalks in half and discard the leafy tops. Bruise the remaining lemongrass and add it to the pot. Add 8 quarts of water and bring to a boil over high heat. When the stock comes to a boil, turn the heat down so it’s at a simmer. Skim off any scum as needed.
- After 45 minutes of simmering, prepare and ice bath. Check the brisket to see if it is cooked through. Remove from the stock and poke it with a chopstick; the juices should run clear. (If needed return to the stock and cook for another 10 minutes.) When the brisket is cooked, plunge into the ice bath until cool. Remove from the ice bath, pat dry, wrap tightly and refrigerate.
- Continue to simmer the stock with the bones for another two hours, skimming as needed. When the 2 hours are up, remove from the heat and scoop out the bones and set aside. Carefully strain the stock through a fine mesh sieve into another large stock pot. If desired, skim off the majority of the fat and then set the pot to a simmer over medium-low heat.
- Cool the bones and remove the meat from the oxtails, set aside and reserve in the fridge. Discard the bones.
- With a mortar and pestle, grind the red pepper flakes and annatto seeds into a coarse powder. Heat up the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the ground red pepper flakes and annatto seeds and cook, stirring, for 10 seconds. Add the shallots, garlic, lemongrass, and shrimp paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more, until the mixture is aromatic and the shallots are just beginning to soften.
- Add the contents of the frying pan to the simmering stock along with the fish sauce and sugar and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with fish sauce and sugar as needed.
- Get ready to plate! Arrange the basil, lime wedges, sliced green onions, and onion slices on a platter and place on the table. Thinly slice the brisket against the grain.
- Cook the noodles according to the package and then divide among deep soup bowls. Top with brisket slices and a bit of oxtail meat. Ladle the hot stock over the noodles and beef and serve immediately, accompanied with the platter of garnishes. Enjoy!