Monday, September 1, 2014

Simple Comforts - Beef Broth and Ethnic Markets

Last week I talked about making chicken broth, so this week, seeing as how I had a perfect beef shank and bone, I figured I'd show you guys how I make beef broth.

Here's what it looks like when you dry rub meat. (Just in case you're that much of a greenhorn in the kitchen.)

After marinating it overnight (minimum) to a couple of days (maximum), you're ready to toss that sucker into the pot.  Now if you have a nice big piece of meat, and you'd like a really tender beef then throw that meat, including the bone, into the frying pan.  Get it good and brown on the outside and then set it into your pot.

You want the water level to be an inch above the meat.  Also, keep it on LOW heat. Beef has a tendency towards boiling over that chicken doesn't seem to have.

Now you can cut your meat up beforehand if you want, but still saute it before you throw it in. (I didn't in this case, but that was because this was my lunch for that day and I was impatient.)

Now if you look at where the knife point is resting, that is marrow. Nommy, good, hearty marrow.

If you look at the right picture, you'll see that this can be scooped out.  Now, I've seen folks say that you should scoop it out and put into the brew anytime from before you cook it to just after the top has turned brown, but whenever you do it is up to you. Throw the bone away (or set it aside for future use.)

Then you let the whole thing simmer, uncovered, for about ten minutes.  Add your veggies or noodles or what have you.

If you're doing exclusively for the broth, you will want to follow the same steps as previously mentioned for the chicken broth in straining the meat pieces and bone out. One advantage to cooking with beef is that the bones are bigger and easier to get. Those beef and chicken bones can be put and ground down into a incredibly high calcium powder. (Yes, this will be covered in a future article.)

And Voila!

Those are buckwheat/rice noodles by the way.  We get those at one of our local Asian markets. It's literally just buckwheat, brown rice and water. Asian markets are a blessing in disguise.  You can actually find solid chunks of fat, beef and pork in them. Most "American" style stores don't have that.

These chunks of fat are great for adding a few cups of meat flavor to the pot if you're making only broth and don't want to put meat into it.  They are what you want to look for when you want to make Tallow and Pemmican.  If you'd like to can some fish, the Asian markets are going to have the more reasonable prices for larger quantities of seafood.

At the one we go to, they have cans of coconut water with mango, pineapple, etc added. These are usually about 50 cents a can when on sale, and the cans are pretty sturdy too. They also have a wider variety of greens, rices, and canned goods like pickled spicy mustard greens (which, by the way, are actually really good).

The Ethnic markets that you have in your area bear looking into (barring certain neighbors with known reputations of ill-repute). Yes, you're probably going to stand out, but the that has happened when we've been at our market is getting winked at by the old ladies.  :)

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