Preheat broiler and move rack to highest positron.
Boil enough water to cover the bones in a large pot. Parboil the bones for 10 minutes then pour out the water, reserve the bones and clean the pot. While the bones are boiling peel the onion and cut it half. Cut the head of the garlic in half. Slice the ginger root into 1/8 inch slices. Coat the onion, ginger and garlic in oil and place them on a foil lined cookie sheet. Broil for 10-15 minutes, keeping a careful eye out to make sure they don't burn. Some brown and a little black is desirable as this is where some of the color of the broth will come from. Put the spices (star anise through cinnamon) in a mesh ball or wrap in a few layers of cheesecloth, then tie off the corners with some twine. Put the bones, spice ball, fish sauce and sugar into the pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Add the beef balls to the pot. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 hours. Take out as much of the solids as possible with a pair of tongs, saving the beef balls. Cut the the beef balls in half, put them in a container or zip-lock bag and store in the refrigerator. Strain the broth into another pot and discard the solids. You can eat the onion if you want, it really is quite tasty. Let the broth cool for one hour, then put in the refrigerator at least overnight, and up to 5 days. Broth can be frozen.
Thaw the brisket or bring to room temperature and season with salt and pepper. Sear the brisket on each side (about 4 minutes per side) in a hot frying pan with a little oil. Put the pot on the stove and remove most of the fat that has solidified on the top, leaving 2-3 tablespoons for flavor. Add enough water to the top of the pot and bring to a boil. Taste the broth. If it is too strong, take out a quart of broth, replace with a quart of water and bring back to boiling. Repeat until it tastes how you like it. In a separate pot, cook the rice noodles by following the directions on the bag. Meanwhile slice the brisket as thin as possible. The beef is not fully cooked at this point so the thin slices are essential to allow the hot broth to finish cooking them. Drain the noodles and distribute them along with the brisket slices and beef balls among the serving bowls. Ladle the broth into the bowls and garnish with onion, cilantro, bean sprouts, Srirracha, Hoisin sauce, lime and Thai basil.
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