A combination of need and necessity have forced me to begin the quest for finding a solid pho recipe. I found this clip on the youtube:
But it's in Vietnamese. Damn it. So I continued looking on teh internets and have come to the conclusion that pho - like mole, chili, empanadas, fried chicken, chicken soup or apple pie - depends on how your grandma made it. There are debates on the validity of ingredients: mint or basil or both or neither, chicken or beef, region, amount of spices, combinations of spices, chiles or no chiles, and the list goes on and on.
One element remains the same - the stock. Fortunately I currently have the time and desire to make beef stock - really heavy duty "this is the stock of a warrior" stock. Not only will it be useful for pho but pretty much everything we cook. I think I'm going to make stock cubes - pour the stock into ice cube trays.
An interesting historical side note: seems like my favorite Vietnamese soup Bun Bo Hue is actually a Khmer Krom recipe. Huh, I'll have to look in this more.
I will post again about this venture. In the meantime if any of you have recipes, suggestions, or hints please let me know.