Monday, February 2, 2009

Nutrient dense stock

Once again, I found myself embarrassed having no idea where stock came it just the drippings from meat after it has been cooked? This yellowish tinted water I buy in 1quart boxes from the grocery store was (and still is actually) surrounded in mystery, as the ingredients don't disclose much: "organic chicken flavor, Natural chicken flavor, onion powder, turmeric and organic flavor". No wonder I am confused!

Saturday mornings Nourishing Traditional foods class was going to be all about stock. I was stoked about stock!

Starting off class, Monica announced that it was best to show us the end product first, and talk through the preparations of this basic foundation of soups and stews since the beginning of time. She pulled the boiling stainless steel pot off the stove, poured it over a stock strainer and into a glass bowl. The brown mucky liquid instantly started separating, and I could see the sediments at the bottom, separate from the fat layer on the top.

Here is natures most abundant source of minerals in their most easily absorbent form as a "true electrolyte solution". None of the minerals work independently in and of themselves, and rely tremendously on one another to do their jobs well: as follows

calcium-this guy gets a lot of press for playing a vital role for strong bones and teeth. It is also needed for the heart and nervous system and for muscle growth. But did you know that you need vitamin D (fat soluble) in order to even absorb calcium? Throw out that skim milk people, and don't scrape that good fat layer off the top of the broth just yet.
sodium: essential to life! Needed to regulate water balance, fluid distribution on either side of the cell walls, supports the functions of the adrenal glands as well as maintains the acid-alkaline balance of the body.
chloride: This guy, in conjunction with sodium and potassium keeps acid-alkaline balance in the blood as well as the passage of fluids across cell membranes. Proper protein and carbohydrate digestion depend on this mineral.
Magnesium is needed for enzyme activity, calcium and potassium uptake, nerve transmission, bone formation and metabolism of carbohydrates and protein!
sulphur:keeps infections away, blocks harmful effects of radiation and pollution and slows down aging! These guys are the building blocks of cell membranes and supher is a major component of the gel-like connective tissue in cartilage and skin.

A good broth should turn into gel as an indicator that it came from a healthy animal. One that ate its natural diet, exercised with its animal friends, and enjoyed lazy days in the beautiful sunshine. A good broth should be the staple of every bowl of hearty soup served on the American table.
A good broth is a lot easier to make, and a lot less mysterious than I imagined, available to you in a few easy steps, which I will gladly pass along!

Beef Broth:
1. 7 pounds of bones "Meaty bones", which add flavor and color, roasted in the oven before adding to pot, and "boney bones" such as marrow and knuckle bones, these yield much gelatin, a very important ingredient in a well made stock.(this is a picture of the bones after they have been cooking for 75 hours)
2. 4 quarts of water (filtered of course)
3. the Trinity of all great soups=diced carrots, onion and celery
4. vinegar, just 1/2 cup will do. Let the vinegar sit in the liquid for an hour, as the acid is needed to pull the minerals from the bones.Now is the time to not cook, but "roll" the stock, uncovered on that stove for 24-72 hours baby! Oh yea.

Strain out all the pulverized chunks, pour into a bowl, and allow to cool.

This delicious mixture goes in the freezer and gets pulled out when you are in a bind and need to make a fast dinner. Throw in some veggies, garlic and there you have it, the real McCoy, the stuff nourishing soup is made of. Time to kick that can to the curb!
No "organic", "Natural" or "other flavors" here folks...just maybe a higher gas bill:)

1 comment:

Rachel said...

We have made turkey broth from the turkey carcass after thanksgiving. Was it ever tasty.