This recipe was inspired by one from Bon Appetit. To give it my personal touch, I added lemongrass to the broth which gives it a brightness. It's simple, quick, light and fragrant. Add 'J String" stilettos from Louboutin and create a scrumptious evening.
1 medium onion, peeled, halved through root end
2 chiles de árbol or ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise pods
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 1” piece ginger, peeled, crushed
2 lemon grass stalks, split
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 bone-in pork shoulder steaks (about 12 oz. each)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces thin rice stick noodles
Mung bean sprouts, fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems, thinly sliced scallions, chopped unsalted, roasted peanuts, and lime wedges (for serving)
ACTIVE: 30 MINTOTAL: 1 HRS
Heat a dry large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Cook onion, cut side down, until lightly charred, about 5 minutes; transfer to a plate.
Add chiles (if using crushed red pepper flakes, add with fennel seeds), garlic, cinnamon stick, and star anise to skillet and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add fennel seeds and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 20 seconds (do not burn). Quickly transfer to a large saucepan (reserve skillet) and add onion, ginger, lemongrass and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until broth is flavorful.
Meanwhile, heat oil in reserved skillet over medium-high heat. Season pork with salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before thinly slicing.
Cook noodles according to package directions. Divide among bowls; add pork. Strain broth and ladle into bowls. Top pho with bean sprouts, cilantro, scallions, and peanuts and serve with lime wedges.