There is nothing more comforting than a big bowl of richly flavoured stock, filled with chilli, noodles veg and beef. Nothing. All beef stock-based soups remind me of my childhood. In my house, if you were still hungry before bed, you got a mug with boiling water, an oxo cube and a big grind of black pepper. Miles better than any hot chocolate or Horlicks.
This childhood dependancy has led to severe consequences in later life. There is never enough gravy on my plate; I always need more. My roast dinners resemble deep dark oceans: roast potatoes bob like islands, meat is submerged land mass, and vegetables swim below a vast sea of gravy.
These memories have led to a deep, heartfelt love for broth-based soups. I think this must be related to my Scottish roots. Throw in some chilli, fish sauce, lime (all my faves), and I could eat it every meal for the rest of my days. It's also really bloody easy to make.
To feed 2 you'll need:
- 750ml of strong beef stock
- a thumb sized piece of ginger, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, bashed
- 2 red chillies, one finely chopped, one roughly
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1tbsp fish sauce
- 2 x 150g ribbon rice noodles
- 1 sirloin steak
- 2 Pak choi, seperated into leaves
- 1/2 a red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 lime, wedged
- a handful of coriander
Put the stock into a saucepan with the ginger, the roughly chopped chilli, garlic and cinnamon stick. Bring to the boil and leave it to simmer for 15 minutes with a lid on to achieve an Asian-infused broth. After 15 minutes, season with the fish sauce and strain your stock as the asian aromatics have worked their magic.
Heat a non-stick frying pan until screaming hot. Rub your steak with a drizzle of oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes on each side, and allow to rest for 4 minutes.
Once the steak is resting, add your noodles and pak choi to your simmering broth and cook for 2 minutes, or until the stems of your pak choi are tender to the point of a knife.
Divide the noodles, broth and pak choi evenly (or there'll be a fight) between two deep bowls, thinly slice your steak and garnish with the rest of the chilli, the red onion, lime wedges and coriander.