simply beef broth
“When you sit down to eat a meal it should be a time for pleasure and warmth, family and friends. Food should be enjoyed. Even more importantly, it should also be nourishment that meets your bodies needs… in these times the food supply is plentiful but it lacks the bodies needs.” Tom Valentine-Search for Health
In days of old, families went to the butcher for meat on the bone, rather than prepackaged cellophane wrapped individual filets. Our prudent forefathers then made use of every part of the animal by preparing stock or broth from the bony portions. This beef broth is simple to make, and like chicken, fish and vegetable broth it is very very nourishing.
The “rest” of the animal is commonly known as offal (not awful!). Most of the meat we eat is only a small portion of the animal, pieces like steaks and chops and tenderloin. Offal are pieces like the neck, shank and tail and bones and used to be the pieces we enjoyed and relished but now no longer appreciate. What were once the choice cuts such as the tenderloin and New York strip were expensive and actually special; but thanks to industrial farming these once pricey portions are now very cheap, and so we have forgotten about the rest of the animal.
In the sense of pastoral eating, using the other parts of the animal is a way of honoring that animals sacrifice for our table.
A note on sourcing your ingredients: A butcher or local farmer that is a great place to start when sourcing your meat, mainly because they can answer your questions about what it was fed and how it was raised. How an animal is raised, fed, slaughtered and aged are important factors to consider when purchasing your meat ~ and these factors are not easily determined when looking at a final product. A cow is a ruminant animal that is going to be healthier when raised on the grasses for which it’s ruminant digestive system was created. There is ample evidence that corn and grain weakens the health of an animal as well as increasing the amount of fat and changing it’s composition to contain a much higher ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids.
The addition of the vinegar in the recipe below increases the mineral content of the final stock.
Simply Beef Broth
- 1 large onion, rinsed and unpeeled, cut into wedges
- 3 carrots, sliced
- 3 stalks celery sliced
- 1 leek, washed and cut – both white and green parts
- 4 pounds mixed beef bones and odd bits
- 4 or more quarts cold water
- 1-2 tomatoes halved
- 1 medium head garlic, rinsed and cut in half
- 3 sprigs thyme, rosemary or combination
- 1 fresh bay leaf (you may use dried)
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Place bones and odd bits in heavy stock pot – enamel coated cast iron or stainless steel are best. Saute on low heat to brown on all sides (about 30 minutes). Add vegetables, vinegar and water. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to simmer and cook for 12 to 24 hours. If necessary, add more water to cover the bones.
While it is cooking, check it periodically, skim off anything with a spoon that rises to the surface.
Strain. Discard bones and compost vegetables.
This stock is the base for many wonderful soups.