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  1. #11
    mixie's Avatar
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    So, okay, that's how and why to make your own stock.
    Now, to make your stew, chunk up your cheapest meat (shank and oxtail are my preferred stringy bits). Get out your cast-iron dutch oven (or skillet, if you're gonna transfer to the crock pot). If you're using the oven, turn to 450*. Get your gadget hot and melt a good wad of fat. If you've made your own stock, this will be bone marrow and tallow that you pick off the top in "puck" form when the broth cools. Bacon fat is good, too. Get it good and hot, and throw in your stringy meat. Brown it around, let it stick, scrape it off, just kinda get it all good and carmelized. Don't cook through, you just want some good brown bits. Kosher salt and black pepper liberally, here. I'm prone to s*t tons of garlic, big chopped onions, and sage, also, but that's just me. Add a couple tablespoons of tapicoa starch or potato starch to help it all stick and brown.

    Add in a bunch more marrow and fat and throw in big, fat chunks of onion, taters/yams, carrots, parsnips, rutabega, celery, tomato... pretty much whatever you have lying around the fridge. Not too much, like 2-3x the volume of meat, or however your preferred diet ratio works out. I tend to use one white starchy, big hunks of dried kelp, plus mushrooms, tomato, carrot, and celery hearts and leaves. Get that stuff all fatted up and throw in some more kosher or sea salt for good measure. Lots of black pepper, a couple of bay leaves, celery seeds, whatever herbs you like best. Start adding in your stock, scraping the bottom and getting it all incorporated as you go. Just put in enough to barely cover everything. You want bits of it to stick up and get brown.

    If you have a good dutch oven (and you should, they're cheap and will last several lifetimes), stick the whole thing in the (hot as hell) oven for... like... 20-25 mins. Then turn the heat down to 200* for about 2 hrs.

    PS: if you have a chimney vent on the oven, make sure it's open! Otherwise, add a little broth to the skillet to juice everything up, then throw it in the crock pot just until it boils and thickens. It's way fine in the crock pot from 2-4 hrs, but IMO the dutch oven/oven combo is as good as you can get without an actual open fire.

    Pull it out and let it sit for ten minutes or so (don't say I didn't warn you) and try not to scald your face in the pot of amazing. Enjoy!
    Last edited by mixie; 10-25-2011 at 07:21 PM.
    “Falconry is not a hobby or an amusement; it is a rage. You eat and drink it, sleep it and think it. You tremble to write of it, even in recollection. It is as King James the First remarked, an extreme stirrer up of passions.” --T.H. White, The Godstone and the Blackymor

    "The world must be all fucked up when men travel first class and literature goes as freight."
    - Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

  2. #12
    wiltondeportes's Avatar
    wiltondeportes Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by mixie View Post
    So, okay, that's how and why to make your own stock.
    Now, to make your stew, chunk up your cheapest meat (shank and oxtail are my preferred stringy bits). Get out your cast-iron dutch oven (or skillet, if you're gonna transfer to the crock pot). If you're using the oven, turn to 450*. Get your gadget hot and melt a good wad of fat. If you've made your own stock, this will be bone marrow and tallow that you pick off the top in "puck" form when the broth cools. Bacon fat is good, too. Get it good and hot, and throw in your stringy meat. Brown it around, let it stick, scrape it off, just kinda get it all good and carmelized. Don't cook through, you just want some good brown bits. Kosher salt and black pepper liberally, here. I'm prone to s*t tons of garlic, big chopped onions, and sage, also, but that's just me. Add a couple tablespoons of tapicoa starch or potato starch to help it all stick and brown.

    Add in a bunch more marrow and fat and throw in big, fat chunks of onion, taters/yams, carrots, parsnips, rutabega, celery, tomato... pretty much whatever you have lying around the fridge. Not too much, like 2-3x the volume of meat, or however your preferred diet ratio works out. I tend to use one white starchy, big hunks of dried kelp, plus mushrooms, tomato, carrot, and celery hearts and leaves. Get that stuff all fatted up and throw in some more kosher or sea salt for good measure. Lots of black pepper, a couple of bay leaves, celery seeds, whatever herbs you like best. Start adding in your stock, scraping the bottom and getting it all incorporated as you go. Just put in enough to barely cover everything. You want bits of it to stick up and get brown.

    If you have a good dutch oven (and you should, they're cheap and will last several lifetimes), stick the whole thing in the (hot as hell) oven for... like... 20-25 mins. Then turn the heat down to 200* for about 2 hrs.

    PS: if you have a chimney vent on the oven, make sure it's open! Otherwise, add a little broth to the skillet to juice everything up, then throw it in the crock pot just until it boils and thickens. It's way fine in the crock pot from 2-4 hrs, but IMO the dutch oven/oven combo is as good as you can get without an actual open fire.

    Pull it out and let it sit for ten minutes or so (don't say I didn't warn you) and try not to scald your face in the pot of amazing. Enjoy!
    Wow I appreciate that. Sounds hard, but I guess I'll have a free afternoon sometime.

    Quote Originally Posted by mixie View Post
    Okay, good, fantastic--save all those bones. If you can cut them any smaller (or smash 'em with a sledge hammer), that might be helpful in aiding mineral extraction.
    Speaking of which, on the value of gelatin, allow me to introduce you to the Weston A. Price Foundation: Why Broth is Beautiful!

    ...Actually, yeah. That's about everything you ever wanted to know about bone stock in one spot. Plow through that or skim for the recipes and techniques at the bottom. The "why" to eat the whole broth is up top, it's science-y around the middle, and the "how" is at the bottom. It's a FABULOUS resource.
    I have a freezer half-full of chicken and turkey bone/marrow stocks I've been making all year and saving for Thanksgiving and Christmas cooking for the whole family. This stuff is like GOLD--I use it in/on/around everything. Sauce bases, soup bases, mashed cauli, use the fat for roasting veggies... Cheers! =)
    The main part I didn't get was your talk about marrow stocks. I eat the marrow right out of the bone, so there's really nothing to save after my meals except bones. I'm just about to jump into that WAPF link, but is it still work collecting bones just for the "bone" part of the broth?

  3. #13
    mixie's Avatar
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    I know it sounds intimidating, but it's actually really, really easy. Basically you want to start with your meat, brown it in fat. Add in your veggies and more fat, let that brown, add in a little starch, add in your stock and spices, et voila ;0)

    And yes, it is absolutely worth extracting the minerals from the bone itself. Remember that the purpose of eating the cow is to get all the nutrients the grass extracted from the soil and the cow extracted from the grass. The cow put all that calcium and a whole lot more into building bone structure--and those are minerals you need for healthy bones and teeth, and smoothly functioning muscles, too.

    Plus, it's just GD delicious. Good stock has a silky, marrow-y consistency that defines "unctuous". During the cold months I make a good stew about every other week in a big batch and we'll eat from it off and on until it's gone. It's perfect, primal human chow with everything you need in one shot. Beefy, fatty... I'll throw in a couple of those little green thai chilies, too, toward the end for a kick. A good beef stew is food for the soul.

    I'd roast the marrow bones for eating, for the sake of saving time I'll usually do about four or five pounds of cut marrow bones at a time. Three or four of them at once is usually about all I can handle, but they reheat perfectly well under the broiler during the week. Anyway, when I roast the big batch, there's usually a good layer of liquefied marrow at the bottom of the skillet. I'll dump that into the crock pot along with some veggie scraps and vinegar with last week's bones for the "mother" stock. There will be some marrow left on the bones unless you really suckle 'em dry, and even if you get all the marrow out there's still the gelatin/mineral content to gain by boiling the licked-clean bones in a mildly acidic environment.
    ...also, if you're doing chicken or turkey stocks, you can't possibly get all the marrow out of every little crevice. Trust me, it's sooooooooo worth it. I just save bones and veggie scraps in the freezer during the week and have a ready to go stock kit when needed. It's easy, and basically free (and tres' noms ;0) )!
    Last edited by mixie; 10-25-2011 at 09:28 PM.
    “Falconry is not a hobby or an amusement; it is a rage. You eat and drink it, sleep it and think it. You tremble to write of it, even in recollection. It is as King James the First remarked, an extreme stirrer up of passions.” --T.H. White, The Godstone and the Blackymor

    "The world must be all fucked up when men travel first class and literature goes as freight."
    - Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

  4. #14
    wiltondeportes's Avatar
    wiltondeportes Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by mixie View Post
    I know it sounds intimidating, but it's actually really, really easy. Basically you want to start with your meat, brown it in fat. Add in your veggies and more fat, let that brown, add in a little starch, add in your stock and spices, et voila ;0)

    And yes, it is absolutely worth extracting the minerals from the bone itself. Remember that the purpose of eating the cow is to get all the nutrients the grass extracted from the soil and the cow extracted from the grass. The cow put all that calcium and a whole lot more into building bone structure--and those are minerals you need for healthy bones and teeth, and smoothly functioning muscles, too.

    Plus, it's just GD delicious. Good stock has a silky, marrow-y consistency that defines "unctuous". During the cold months I make a good stew about every other week in a big batch and we'll eat from it off and on until it's gone. It's perfect, primal human chow with everything you need in one shot. Beefy, fatty... I'll throw in a couple of those little green thai chilies, too, toward the end for a kick. A good beef stew is food for the soul.

    I'd roast the marrow bones for eating, for the sake of saving time I'll usually do about four or five pounds of cut marrow bones at a time. Three or four of them at once is usually about all I can handle, but they reheat perfectly well under the broiler during the week. Anyway, when I roast the big batch, there's usually a good layer of liquefied marrow at the bottom of the skillet. I'll dump that into the crock pot along with some veggie scraps and vinegar with last week's bones for the "mother" stock. There will be some marrow left on the bones unless you really suckle 'em dry, and even if you get all the marrow out there's still the gelatin/mineral content to gain by boiling the licked-clean bones in a mildly acidic environment.
    ...also, if you're doing chicken or turkey stocks, you can't possibly get all the marrow out of every little crevice. Trust me, it's sooooooooo worth it. I just save bones and veggie scraps in the freezer during the week and have a ready to go stock kit when needed. It's easy, and basically free (and tres' noms ;0) )!
    Alright, alright. You convinced me to try it out. I'm just going to start saving bones after I eat the marrow by throwing them in a freezer bag. Then, I'll make a stock after a week or two.

    Secondly, I will definitely try that stew recipe at some point. It's starting to get into the cool months, so it will be nice. My strategy before was to add ingredients, water, and put on stove. Nice to have a little more background on that. I wish I could just sit back and have someone make it for me

  5. #15
    mixie's Avatar
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    Cheers ;0)
    Yeah, I can see why you'd be puzzled about drinking the "broth" if what you're looking at is basically flavored water. This stuff is glorious ;0)
    “Falconry is not a hobby or an amusement; it is a rage. You eat and drink it, sleep it and think it. You tremble to write of it, even in recollection. It is as King James the First remarked, an extreme stirrer up of passions.” --T.H. White, The Godstone and the Blackymor

    "The world must be all fucked up when men travel first class and literature goes as freight."
    - Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

  6. #16
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    Mixie: Regarding not reheating broth in the microwave as mentioned in the WAP article; Is that bunk or do you abide by it? I've been using the microwave to reheat my broth and am considering using the stove instead in light of this info.

  7. #17
    mixie's Avatar
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    Well, I don't know. I typically use the stove or broiler for just about everything because there are very few situations in which I need something hot and ready to go in my belly in under five minutes or so--and if you're in the habit of using the stove, it doesn't really take any longer than the microwave. I work from home, so I always have access to conventional heating methods, and that makes things easy for me. YMMV if you're dealing with heating lunch at a work place or something.
    This paper: Evidence for the absence of amino acid isomerization in microwave-heated milk and infant formulas - Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (ACS Publications) seems to be a rebuttal to the Lubec publication, though I note that they're specifically referring to the affect on amino acids found in milk or formula as a generalization, and did not use gelatin-containing foods. I don't have access to the Lubec paper (or letter?) the WAPF article cites, so I can't compare the science and offer any sort of informed opinion on the conclusions drawn.
    From a lay-person's perspective though, I don't worry too much about toxins from the microwave. I use it as little as possible because it just feels more wholesome (in a philosophical way) to me to do things with as little technology as is practical, because conventional heating doesn't really take any longer, and because I typically prefer the texture and flavor of direct-heated food to steamed.
    My guess is this is probably one of those "don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good", things.
    Last edited by mixie; 10-27-2011 at 11:45 AM.
    “Falconry is not a hobby or an amusement; it is a rage. You eat and drink it, sleep it and think it. You tremble to write of it, even in recollection. It is as King James the First remarked, an extreme stirrer up of passions.” --T.H. White, The Godstone and the Blackymor

    "The world must be all fucked up when men travel first class and literature goes as freight."
    - Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

  8. #18
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    Thanks for the reply, Mixie.

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