Makes 4 servings.
1 large yellow onion, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
1 piece fresh ginger, 2 inches long, halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon neutral oil
2 pounds chuck short ribs
2 whole star anise
1 cinnamon stick
4 whole cloves
8 cups beef broth
1-2 tablespoons fish sauce
10 ounces flat rice noodles, fettucine size
1 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup Thai basil leaves
1/2 cup mint leaves
1/2 cup cilantro stems and leaves
2 jalapenos, sliced in 1/4 inch rounds
Hoisin sauce, sambal or sriracha
1. Heat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil.
2. Arrange onion slices and ginger on a baking-sheet pan, brush with oil, and broil until charred in spots, about 10 minutes.
3. Season the short ribs with salt. Arrange the onions and ginger, short ribs, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, and beef broth in a large slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for four hours until the meat is just tender. Turn off the slow cooker and let the broth and meat rest for 30 minutes. Remove the meat from the broth and slide off the bones. Strain the broth (discard the solids). Skim any fat that rises to the surface of the broth. (At this point, the broth and meat can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Rewarm before proceeding.)
4. Return the broth to a simmer and season with fish sauce and salt.
5. Prepare the rice noodles according to package instructions. Drain well.
6. Slice the meat into bite-size pieces. Portion out the noodles and meat among four large soup bowls. Ladle the hot broth into the bowls, warming the noodles and meat. Serve with bean sprouts, herbs, jalapeños, lime wedges, and sauces on the side.
Per serving: 1,060 calories, 56 grams protein, 75 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams sugar, 59 grams fat, 151 milligrams cholesterol, 2,192 milligrams sodium, 7 grams dietary fiber.