Chopped red chili, bean
sprouts, fresh purple basil leaves, chopped spring onion, thin lime
wedges, fresh coriander leaves.
Place the bones, gravy beef, ginger, salt and water in a large pan. bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer very gently,
uncovered, for 3 1/2 hours. Skim off any scum that forms on the surface. Add the peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves, coriander seeds and fish
sauce, and cook for another 40 minutes. Remove the gravy beef and set it aside to cool. Drain the stock, reserving all the liquid and discarding the bones
and spices; return the liquid to the pan. When the gravy beef is cool enough to handle, cut it against the
grain into very fine slices. Set aside. Close to serving time, plunge the noodles into a pan of boiling
water and cook them for about 10 seconds only, otherwise they will
soften and fall apart. Drain the noodles well and divide them among large individual soup
bowls. Arrange the toppings on a platter in the center of the table. Bring the beef stock to a rapid boil. Place some slices of the
cooked meat as well as a few slices of the raw steak into each bowl of
noodles. Ladle the boiling stock over the top, sprinkle over the spring
onion, and onion slices and serve. Each diner chooses their own toppings and can also add sauces such
as sweet chili sauce and hoisin sauce to their dish.
Note: The success of this dish depends on the full-flavored stock, for
which there is not quick substitute. Even though it takes a long time to
cook, it is well worth the effort. The stock can be made in advance and
frozen, making it easy to put the dish together when required.