Thursday, May 5, 2011

Slow-cooked Beef Stock a la Julia Child

It was Marcella Hazan, the godmother of Italian cooking in the US, and Julia Child, who got me into home-made broth, slow cooked for 5-6h on the back burner of the stove, flavor infused by bones, shells, and herbs. The long harsh winter in Maine as well as the relentless academic year left me with a cold to cure, on the couch, with old shows on netflix, and well, a lot of hot beef soup. The plants are slowly bursting to life in the garden, and the lovage plant is one of the first to grow in the spring. Lovage is a leafy green that adds a celery-like flavor to soups or broth, but has a much stronger, sturdier flavor, so the perfect ingredients to stand up to some slowly cooked broth with beef bones. Lovage is also a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory being second only to capers with regard to quercetin. Not that we care too much, but it would be nice to shake this cold!
Slow cooked beef stock:
  • 3 quarts of water
  • 3-4 large beef bones, mostly without meat
  • 1 carrot, peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 3-4 lovage stems with leaves (or 2-3 celery stalks)
  • 1 red onion, peeled, cut in large slices
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 12 juniper berries
  • 1 TB pepper corns
  • spring of thyme
In a large stockpot, add the cold water, and all the other ingredients. Bring to a boil, and then keep the broth simmering on ultra-low for about 5-6h, covered with a lid. Remove any foam that develops. Strain, discard the vegetables, herbs and bones (a dog might be happily chewing on them!), and cool the broth. If you cool it in the fridge, the fat will solidify and it can easily be removed.
beef soup
Beef soup:
  • home-made broth
  • handful of edamame
  • handful french beans
  • some carrot slices
  • handful of dried porcini mushroom
  • salt, to taste
Heat the broth with the vegetables, and simmer for about 10min until the vegetables are tender but not mushy. The porcinis adds a wonderful extra flavor depth. Serve!
lovage untitled shoot-001-3

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