Vietnamese Beef and Red Curry Soup
Cut the meat into thin, 1½-inch long slices.
Place the beef pieces in a large pot with enough water to cover. Bring just to a boil, then drain. Rinse the meat. Place the meat back into the pot with the 4 quarts of fresh water. Add the star anise and the cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 3½ hours.
Meanwhile, place the dried noodles in a bowl, covering them with hot water. Set aside.
When the meat is ready, heat the oil in a small saucepan. Stir in the curry paste, cooking for a couple of minutes. Add this mixture to the meat mixture. Add salt and the sugar, simmering everything for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, coarsely chop the bean sprouts and cut the lime into thin wedges.
Drain the noodles and divide them among individual serving bowls. Pour in the soup.
Garnish by drizzling in small amount of fish sauce and adding some bean sprouts and lime wedges to each bowl.