Warm and spicy Beef Noodle Soup

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1. Boil a litre of water and put it in a pan with the beef stock cubes. Make sure they are dissolved properly and then add the garlic clove (make a few slashes in the side of it but keep the skin on), the ginger and the star anise. Keep warm on a medium-low heat and let the flavours infuse.

2. Brush some oil on the steak and then season with the salt, pepper and star anise - make sure both sides are seasoned. Heat a frying pan on a high heat and add the steak; about two mins each side for rare.

3. Whilst the steak is cooking; turn the stock up to high and get it boiling, add the noodles to the pan, and cook as per packet instructions - make sure they are only just done or slightly underdone as they will be sitting in fluid in the bowl.

4. Take the steak off and put on to a plate to rest.

5. Get out two large bowls. Share the noodles between the bowls and then add the peppers, pak choi stalks and mange tout. Reserve the beef stock DON NOT throw it away!

6. Cut up the steak in to thin slices and place on top of the veg. Pour the juices that have come out of the beef and on to the plate into the pan of stock and stir. Take the bits out of the stock (star anise, garlic) and pour the stock over the beef , veg and noodles.

7. Put the coriander, pak choi leaves chilli and spring onions on top of everything else and squeeze the lime over the whole bowl - 1 lime per bowl.

8. Serve with soy sauce on the side.

NB To make this spicier - either put the chillies in the stock and boil with them and/or use finger chillies which are a lot hotter. You can cap the heat of the dish by taking the chillies out when it's got hot enough.

Sommeliers choice for this recipe:

Douro 'Floral' 2010 by Alianca
Juicy fruit on the palate which is dominated by blackcurrants, blueberries and liquorice.  The poise and power of the fruit is balanced with dry, firm tannins and a characterful, spicy finish that says drink up mate, there’s more. You got a case, right?

Rockwood 2007 by Kanu
With a nose of dark chocolate, raspberry, complimented by the peppery nutmeg and cinnamon notes of the Shiraz, this soft, velvety wine is just what you need to get the magic started. Yep.

Gotim Bru Costers del Segre 2008 by Castell del Remei
An attractive, perfumed nose with cherry, toasted red fruit, balsamic notes and sweet spicy oak characters. Ripe fruit on the palate is balanced with fresh acidity and present yet supple tannins. This is a wine that plays to both courts, appealing to those who appreciate fresh, juicy styles and those who prefer a wine with greater complexity, a savoury twist and more serious structure.

Grenache 2010 by Willunga
This lively wine displays intense aromatics of cherry, raspberry, spice and hints of dried herbs. The palate demonstrates all the characters expected from a medium bodied Grenache: sandy, gritty tannin structure; lovely dryness on the finish; coupled with balanced sweet plum and strawberry fruit, a fantastic food wine! Lovely waxy rose petal layers and perfume add florally finesse to a finishes that leaves with a super sexy smack!



2 organic beef stock cubes (kallo is a good brand)

2 star anise

1 tsp fresh ginger, grated

1 clove garlic, skin left on

2 nests of thin egg noodles (or any noodles you like)

250g beef hanger steak (or bavette) - as one steak about 2cm thick (adjust cooking times if thinner/thicker)

2 tsp chinese five spice powder

Salt and pepper

1 sweet romaro pointed pepper, cut in very thin slices

50g mange tout, sliced thinly

1 pak choi, greens cut off and base sliced thinly

4 spring onions, sliced finely

2 limes

2 green chillies, sliced in half

Bunch of fresh coriander

NB Change the veg to suit the season and your tastes. Other things that work well are - bell peppers, tomatoes, bean sprouts, tofu, green beans, carrots, courgette...the choice is yours!