Beef noodle soup

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Using beef brisket in this noodle soup recipe means you will have beautifully tender meat to carry the myriad of spices, with the fish sauce resolutely bringing up the rear. Geoffrey Smeddle's soup is inspired by Vietnamese pho and is not only a fantastic winter warmer – it's an easy recipe for any time of the year, created originally for the Sunday Herald.

First published in 2015






Rinse the brisket and chicken bones in cold water, then put them in a large pot and cover with two litres of cold water
Bring to the boil, skim the scum that rises to the surface and reduce the heat to a steady simmer
Place the oil and red onions in a wok and cook over a medium heat, stirring often, for 10 minutes until golden brown
  • 250ml of vegetable oil
  • 2 red onions
Drain the onions, discarding the oil, and spread them out on kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil
Now add to the stock the onions, along with the salt, the dark green ends of the spring onions (reserve the white parts for later), garlic, ginger, cinnamon, star anise and coriander seeds
Simmer for around two hours or until the brisket is very tender, at which point transfer the brisket to a bowl and allow to cool slightly
Strain the soup into a clean saucepan and discard the remaining ingredients
Flake the brisket back into the pot of broth, discarding any fatty pieces, then season the pho soup to your liking with the fish sauce and sugar
Put your rice noodles in a bowl of salted boiling water. Cover tight and leave for a few minutes until soft, being sure not to overcook them
Divide the noodles into individual bowls
Pour over the soup, slice the remaining white parts of the spring onions and sprinkle them over the soup. Finish with a squeeze of lime or lemon juice
First published in 2015

Geoffrey Smeddle, proprietor and chef of The Peat Inn in Fife, started his career working for Herbert Berger at The Café Royal and for Christopher Galvin in London. He then sealed his reputation as one of Scotland’s top chefs by opening Terence Conran's Etain, in Glasgow.

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