** In this picture, I also made pork meatballs to add into the soup. I will post the recipe soon.
This is by no means a quick recipe. Though it is not difficult to make, it will take hours to boil the stock to a rich meaty soup. Well worth it, in my opinion.
Ingredients for the soup:
6 lbs of pork and beef bones (I used half beef bones with the marrow and half pork neck bones)
7-8 stalks of lemon grass, smashed (cut off the dry tops and peel off any dry leaves)
1 large piece of ginger, smashed
1 onion, whole
2 tbsp mam ruoc (vietnamese fish paste)
4 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup of fish sauce, or to taste
2 lbs pigs feet
1.5 lbs of sliced beef
1 beef shank
1 cha lua loaf (vietnamese ham)
1 lb congealed pork blood, 1.5 inch cubes
Ingredients for oil:
1 tbsp annato seeds
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp mam ruoc
2-3 lemongrass stalks, finely chopped (food processor)
3 tbsp nuoc cham (vietnamese chili garlic sauce) [edit: I made this again with chili powder instead of the paste (approximately 1 tablespoon) and I actually liked the chili powder more because it doesn't change the flavour of the soup as much]
Ingredients for serving:
Bun bo hue vermicelli (It's thicker than regular vermicelli and round, unlike pho)
Purple Purilla, sliced
1. Place the pork and beef bones along with the beef shank in the largest stock pot you can find, cover with water and bring to a boil. When the scum begins forming at the top, pour out the water and rinse the bones with water to remove the scum and some of the fat.
2. Place the bones and shank back into the stock pot and cover with water once again. Add the smashed lemongrass, onion, ginger, garlic, mam ruoc and boil for 4 hours on medium-low with a tight fitting lid.
3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil for the annato seed oil in a pan. Place about a tbsp of annato seeds into the oil. When the oil turns dark red, remove the annato seeds either with a spoon or by straining the oil. Put the oil back on the heat and add the minced lemongrass, mam ruoc, and chili garlic paste (or chili powder works just as well). Once the lemongrass has softened a bit, you can take the pan off the heat. At this point, you may want to skim the fat off of the top of the bun bo hue. You'll find that quite a bit has accumulated from the bones. Once you have skimmed off the fat, you can pour the annato seed oil mixture into the soup to turn it a bright red.
4. Boil the bun bo hue noodles in water according to the instructions on your packet.
5. When the soup stock is almost finished, season with the fish sauce (or according to your own taste) Add the pig's feet and pigs blood
6. When the skin of the pig's feet is soft, but still chewy, add the cha lua slices and remove the beef shank from the stock to slice.
7. Put a handful of noodles in the bottom of a large bowl and add the beef slices to the top of the noodles. Pour the boiling soup over the noodles and be sure to include some pig's feet and blood.
8. Serve with the bean sprouts, basil, cilantro, lime, red chili, and purple purilla.