Where’s the Salt?

December 28, 2010

Unfortunately, hypertension (high blood pressure) is something many adults suffer from.  Whether it results from way of life, or genes, one way to help control daily intake is by preparing your own broth — beef and chicken, to be used in soups and other dishes that you make at home.  Canned broth and bullion cubes are packed with sodium and, whether you have high blood pressure or not, it’s best to steer clear of them.  (I know I’ve used bullion in previous recipes, but I’ve just recently had this epiphany.)

I used this beef stock in what resulted in the richest French Onion Soup I’ve ever had.  Animal bones and meat  naturally have some sodium, so adding salt isn’t necessary.

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Roasted bones and vegetables

Beef Stock

Serves 6 cups
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 leek, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 2 pounds beef marrow bones
  • 1 pound beef stew meat, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 3 sprigs Italian parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Rinse the bones with cold water and pat dry. Place the vegetables in a single layer in a large roasting pan and add the bones on top. Roast, turning the bones a few times, until well browned; about 1 hour.
  2. Transfer the bones and vegetables to a large soup pot, discarding fat from the roasting pan. Deglaze the pan with a couple of cups of water over high heat, scraping up all the brown bits. Add this to the bones, along with the cubed meat, tomato paste, garlic, bay leaves, thyme and parsley. Pour in cold water to cover the bones and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and skim off any foam that rises to the surface. Do not stir. Add peppercorns, and continue to simmer, uncovered, for about 4 hours, skimming from time to time.  (Rumor has it, the best way to really cook this down is by simmering on low overnight.  Proceed at your own risk if you choose to do so.)
  3. Strain stock and discard solids. Cool and then refrigerate overnight. The following day, remove and discard fat that has risen to the top, and discard any debris that has sunk to the bottom. Salt before using or, if planning to reduce, wait to add salt until later. Can be stored in the refrigerator for several days, or divided into smaller quantities and frozen for future use, up to 6 months.
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A rich broth cooking down

Find the original recipe here.

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One Response to “Where’s the Salt?”


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