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Beef Pho Broth


3 lbs beef knuckles

2 lb beef oxtail

10 cups water

2 large yellow onions

1 fresh ginger

4 whole star anise

1/2 Tbsp black peppercorn

4 cloves garlic

1 cinnamon stick

3 small shallots

1/2 cup fish sauce

1 Tbsp salt


  • Place the beef bones and oxtail on a baking sheet lined with foil. Put in the broiler for about 5-10 min each side.

  • In a large stockpot. Add the water. Completely covering the bones. Bring to a boil while preparing the rest of the ingredients.

  • Cut two onions in half. Char each half by placing in the broiler. This will bring the aroma and deepen the flavor of the broth. Repeat this process with ginger.

  • In a small skillet, lightly toast, the anise pods, cloves, peppercorns, and garlic for about 5 minutes.

  • Check on the boiler bones, skimming off any fat that had accumulated.

  • Add the toasted spices and garlic, charred onion, and ginger, cinnamon stick, and shallots to the stock. Boil for 15 minutes, then bring down to a gentle simmer.

  • Add the fish sauce, salt, and stir well. Continue to simmer for 2 1/2 hours, uncovered, periodically skimming off the fat, as it accumulates. The broth is ready to eat after 2 1/2 hours, but the magic lies with allowing it to simmer longer. You may continue to simmer, covered, for you to 10-12 hours.

  • When the broth is done cooking, remove from heat, and set aside to cool.

  • Remove the bones and oxtails and set aside.

  • Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer into a new stockpot. The broth will be richly colored, yet clear.

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