1. Heat the broth, lemongrass, onion, ginger, cinnamon stick, salt and pepper over high heat. When the broth boils, reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for 45 minutes.
2. Place the beef in the freezer.
3. Bring a pot of water to a simmer and add the noodles.
4. Remove noodles from heat and allow to soak until soft, about 10 to 13 minutes. Meanwhile, slice the chiles into very thin rings.
5. Pluck the leaves from the basil sprigs, stack them and then roll tightly.
6. Cut across the roll of leaves to create thin strips.
7. Pluck the leaves from the cilantro and mint sprigs and roughly chop.
8. Remove the beef from the freezer and, with a very sharp knife, slice across the grain as thinly as possible.
9. Remove the ginger, cinnamon stick and lemongrass from the broth. Taste the broth for seasoning and add more salt, pepper or cinnamon if preferred.
10. Bring the broth back to a boil. Place some of the noodles in a large dinner bowl.
11. Place some of the beef in the bowl and ladle the soup over it. Pass the chopped herbs, chile rings, lime wedges, fish sauce and bean sprouts around the table for garnishes.
- 1 onions - peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1-inch piece ginger - peeled, sliced into 5 pieces and lightly smashed
- 2 limes - cut into wedges, for garnish
- 1 bunch basil sprigs
- 1/2 bunch cilantro
- 4 qts. beef broth
- 1 lb. lean beef in one piece - preferably top round
- 1 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
- 10 sprigs of fresh mint
- 6 serrano chile peppers or 2 jalapenos
- 2 c. fresh bean sprouts
- 1 stalk lemongrass - bottom 2 inches only, lightly smashed
- fish sauce - to season while eating
- 16 oz. flat rice noodles
- Fish Sauce - To Season While Eating