Pour the water into a large pot. Add the
shin bones and beef. Bring to the boil and skim the surface. Turn heat
to medium-low, partially cover and simmer for two hours. skimming often,
before add in remaining broth ingredients. Simmer another 90 minutes and
remove from heat. Leave to cool.
Strain the broth through a fine sieve and
discard bones, carrots, onion and spices. Skim fat from broth. Cut the
beef finely across the grain to paper thinness. Reserve.
Soak rice noodles in warm water about 20
minutes until soft, drain and reserve.
Return broth pot to heat. Boil with Nuoc
Cham then reduce heat to very low. Fill a separate big pot
three-quarters full of water and boil, add noodles and rinsed bean
Continue cooking until noodles are tender
but not mushy. Bean sprouts should retain some crispness.
Serve boiling broth first then drain
noodles into 6 bowls, top equally with beef, raw onion rings, chopped
green onions (scallions), and thin raw steak slices, which will par-cook
in the bowls.
Garnish with coriander and mint leaves.
The beef will be easiest to slice if
semi-frozen from the freezer. Diners help themselves to chili rings and
lime wedges. This recipe can also be adapted for chicken which takes
less time to cook.