jaune_chat (jaune_chat) wrote,
jaune_chat
jaune_chat

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Jaune Chat's Adventures In Cooking With a Soup Bone!

So, the other week, Mr. Chat made a lamb roast. And though the lamb was stupidly expensive for being so out-of-season, we rubbed it with herbs and lemon juice, pushed garlic into it, and roasted it, and it was quite good. But then we were left with two meaty lamb bones just chock full of flavor.

I decided this was the perfect excuse to learn to cook with a soup bone. You're supposed to put them in a pot (since mine were pre-roasted, no additional roasting was required) and cover them with cold water, bring to a boil, simmer for a while, pull out the bones and scrape and chop off the meat, and then put everything back and cook it some more. Then you can go ahead and add the rest of the soup ingredients.

I thought I'd do that, and then use the stock to make this beef soup recipe I found (cheaper by far than getting more lamb). Except I decided to use the biggest pot that I own, because I was cooking for six, and it took so much water to cover the bones initially that when the stock was supposedly done, it didn't really taste of much except vaguely lamby, herby water. Figuring I could adjust seasoning as I went (I watch cooking shows, dang it!) I just increased my ingredient amount and made the beef soup (with beef stew meat, yukon gold potatoes, carrots, peas, garlic, and barley).

Alas, when all was supposed to be done, the broth tasted of nothing but a touch of salty, vaguely meaty water.

Crap.

Now I was in full rescue mode. In order to bring the flavor up to par and thicken the consistency, I added the following, one at a time, until I had achieved a richy, flavorful, meaty broth.

8 packets of Swanson's beef broth booster
4 chicken bullion cubes
Many shakings of onion salt
Many shakings of pepper
Heaping quarter cup of flour
A full tube of double-concentrated tomato paste
Using the broth from the pot, I turned two cups of the broth into thick gravy with a packet and stirred it back in
More onion salt and pepper
A handful of flour

The gravy packet and the flour I think were the real saviors for richness and thickness, and the tomato paste saved the flavor and added good color.

The result was the "best beef stew I'd ever tasted," from some friends who have had a lot of stew in their life. Huzzah!

The lesson learned here is, when life throws you watery soup, throw gravy back at it! :D
Tags: cooking, real life
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