beef noodle soup
This beef bone soup isn't just delicious, it's also rich in gelatin, collagen and all those other wonderful things that get you moving and keep you strong. Don't like noodles? Have it with shredded vegetables! Or do as I do and keep some in the freezer at all times to reheat for a hot drink (instead of a cup of tea or coffee). You'll need to start this recipe a couple of days ahead (or at least the day before) so that the stock has enough time to leach all of the goodness out of the bones and be chilled before consuming.
  • 750g-1kg beef bones (ask your butcher to cut them into 2 inch chunks across the bone)
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 6-8 white pepper berries (crushed)
  • 300g chuck steak (or shin or brisket)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 thumb sized knob of ginger
  • plus the following to serve: a dash of fish sauce, salt, fresh rice noodles, bean sprouts, thinly sliced beef, lemon wedges & vietnamese mint
How to make it
  1. It's all about the broth, really. Start by dumping all of your bones into a large pot and covering them with water. Heat the bones and water until it comes to the boil and let it boil until you see some brown scum starting to rise to the surface. Dump the bones and water out into a colander in the sink, rinse the bones off with some more water and pop them back in the pot.
  2. Put the star anise, cinnamon, crushed pepper, chuck steak and peeled garlic and ginger into the pot with the bones and top with about 1.5L of water - see how much your pot can manage (you'll need a couple of centimetres spare at the top to save your stove top when it's being boiled).
  3. Heat the pot full of ingredients on a high heat until it boils, then lower the temperature so that the liquid is barely bubbling. Let it boil for at least 4 hours (if not 12), skimming any scum that floats to the top as an when you notice it.
  4. Alternatively: If you're using a thermal cooker (which is my preferred way to make stock these days), bring the pot to the boil and skim the surface for scum for about five minutes. Put the lid on, take the pot off the heat and put it immediately into the thermal cooker. Let it sit for four to six hours (depending on your cooker's efficiency) and repeat the boiling, skimming and sitting steps so that your stock has a minimum of 12 hours simmering time so that the collagen and gelatin have a chance to make their way from the bones into the stock.
  5. When you've finished boiling the stock, strain it into a container through a colander or sieve to remove the bones and other ingredients, setting the chuck steak aside for later.
  6. Wrap the steak in cling film and put it in the fridge to cool. Put the stock in the fridge as well so that it cools and solidifies into a jelly. I usually wait overnight, but depending on the kind of fridge you use, it might be a quicker process than that!
  7. When the stock has solidified into a jelly, you'll be left with a layer of fat across the top. Remove the fat and discard it before using the stock.
  8. To serve, heat some of the jellified stock in a saucepan (it will reliquify, don't worry!) and taste it for seasoning, adding salt and a dash of fish sauce as you like. Heat up the noodles by pouring some boiling water over the top and letting them sit. Serve the stock up with some noodles, fresh bean sprouts, herbs, a lemon wedge and a combination of the brisket / chuck you set aside earlier and some thinly sliced beef.
Recipe by onebitemore at