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Beef Bones......... Soup of course

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Can bones feed the world? I think so, raising you own beef, and custom butchering give you a great insight into the amount of waste a packer or grocery store is forced to deal with when placing beef in the retail cases. Since I pay to grow the thing, I like to see as much as possible used. As with my blog on Oxtail Soup there are many many protein laden bones on the bovine (and other stock animals) that can lend themselves well to a nice dinner or lunch. So lets explore the versatile and flavorful beef bone!

Basically any trimmed bone with beef left on it will do. At the grocery stores they are cut to spec and therefore still run about $3 (USD) per pound. But if you know a butcher or look up where the butcher shop is in your area, stop by and talk to them. You can usually get them for less the $1 per
pound. Here I have some shanks split.



I will salt these and hit them with some fresh cracked black pepper, a little thyme and rosemary on them as well. While they are resting in the rub I will get to preparing the vegetables for the soup stock and the vegetables for the beef rendering. Making a great soup takes several processes. While most just boil down the bones and create a soup, old Jack Wilson taught me that your soup stock is always made separately from your base stock. That is you are always going to make two stocks to create excellent soup. It will become more clear as we progress.

First the vegetables for the soup base. We begin with the standard mirepoix and start by sweating them out well.



Now this mirepoix is going to make the soup base for what will be the underlying stock for a vegetable soup. Almost all soups should start with this classic beginning. Once you have the vegetables tender and the white wine reduced out of the sauté pan it is time for them to hit the stock pot.



Now basically we have a neutral vegetable mix at this time. Flavorful? Yes. Finished, by no means! Now it is time to add the specials that build depth and add unique character to the soup base. In the picture above you can see some Turkish bay leaf has been added. To that we are also going to add in a little ginger, zest of a lemon, zest of half an orange, one minced shallot, and a little fennel seed.



I don't add these to the sweat because I don't want the aromatics lost to the air. I want these oils to bind to the fat I used to render the mirepoix. Which in this case was olive oil. Add in more white wine and then reduce by 75 percent. Whip out the stick blender and have at it. This is
your soup base. No soup should be made without it.



All my soups are made by compounding. It gives such a unique depth to the soup that I don't feel it can be skipped. Now that the soup base if finished we can concentrate on the beef bones and begin to pull together the flavors that will become out vegetable beef soup. First you must start with a mirepoix in another sauté pan. You are going to do a lot higher heat on this sweat because we are also going to sear the beef bones. And we are not going to complete the sweat to finish. This is because we have an additional rendering step that will change the type of sugar complexity we are creating. I have added into the mirepoix some potatoes. And a little garlic. The underlying spice is rosemary and thyme. I am using shiraz as the wine for the stock. Which beef loves and beef soups absolutely love!



Now once these beef bones are browned on all sides, we must move them to secondary rendering. And that is done in the oven. The Maillard reaction actually starts a room temperature, but is most active around 140 to 160 F. The complex chemistry going on has yet to be modeled by scientists. But oh my the human palate can analyze it well!!! And so it is into the oven for roasting!



It is a pizza stone, I use it as a heat collector. It allows my roast dish to pull heat fast so I get the bottom of the dish up to temp almost as fast as the hot air starts to work the top of the pan. Just one of those things I did being lazy and found out it is worth doing in most instances. The stone is a reservoir of heat, it gives that heat up to my heavy bottom pan rapidly so it comes to temperature fast. Once they are done roasting, I remove to begin to assemble the extraction for the beef soup.



These nice roasted bones will be placed in a second stock pot to finish the soup process on the beef side. But the pan has hidden flavors stuck to the bottom from the searing and roast process. So we deglaze the pan with a little more shiraz after removing the beef and vegetables to the larger stock pot.



Once that is complete I add everything to the beef stock pot. This will simmer until the meat falls off the bones. The time it takes to do so at a simmer is almost 6 hours, but it is worth the wait and it sure makes the house
smell great while you are working on the bread for the dinner.



After a few hours this pot has rendered all the flavor it can. It looks like this at the end, I will pull the bones, remove the beef and chop it, Then a short Dépouiller to clarify the beef stock. Finally combine the Dépouiller
beef stock with the soup base made earlier, add in the beef and the vegetables, simmer til veggies are getting tender, then add a nice gemelli pasta.



In the end it all comes together to produce a nice meal made primarily from what others consider scraps, throw away. Combine this with some homemade Pain au Levain and you have a really have a great meal. I drink shiraz
with this, but most red wines will work for the dish.



On thing you will notice is the carrots are not coined in my soup. I don't care for the way a coined carrot turns to mush, especially on a second time reheat. Since I grow my own carrots I prefer to peel them and cut them into lengths. They are fork tender, but they don't turn to mush.

'til we talk again, take those bones and make a soup, the weather in North American is perfect for soup now! It is oh so good and very inexpensive!


Chef Bob Ballantyne
The Cowboy and The Rose Catering
Grand Junction, Colorado, USA
I am a reduction of my youthful mistakes mixed with the roux of a few adult successes
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I am a reduction of my youthful mistakes mixed with the roux of a few adult successes
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post #2 of 10
A really nice post, Chef Bob. I hope you'll keep them coming.

Thanks

Mike
travelling gourmand
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travelling gourmand
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post #3 of 10
I really enjoyed this post! I see soup bones for sale all the time a lot cheaper than most cuts of beef. I bought some once and used them but didn't care for the results. Now I am pretty sure I know where I went wrong. Thanks!
post #4 of 10
Thanks Chef Bob - feeling inspired to spend the day in the kitchen now. Excellent post.

DC
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
Reply
post #5 of 10
Yeah Bob, Excellent post. Almost every dish my Grandmother (fathers side) made that utilized beef (ie soup, spaghetti sauce stew) utilized those as an ingredient. I do have to say I tried to pick some up at the store the other day $4.58lb. :eek: Looks like someone is going to make it difficult to get even the cheap cuts cheaply.:mad:
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Make a call to some local butcher shops. They usually offer them for a lot better price than a market.
I am a reduction of my youthful mistakes mixed with the roux of a few adult successes
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I am a reduction of my youthful mistakes mixed with the roux of a few adult successes
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post #7 of 10

I just made this soup!

And I was in the kitchen all day long. It was a great day!

I am new to the site and learned a lot following the recipe above. The soup turned out to be hearty and delicious. The subtle lemon flavor from the lemon zest was very nice. I made some changes based on what I had on hand - no orange zest and did barley instead of the pasta. I also accidentally added the first mirepoix to the soup pot with the beef instead of after but I added more carrots and corn at the end with the barley and it all seemed to work. That’s why I signed up for Chef Talk – to learn! Thanks for a great recipe. I will sure to try it again.

BTW I loved the pizza stone concept which I also used with success. The rosemary / thyme rub was great as well. Good thing I had both in the garden!
post #8 of 10
What is Dépouiller?

Great post, can't wait to apply this to my next beef soup.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #9 of 10
Hey Chef Nice job. I have two Black Angus cows being finished as we speak... The bones will come in handy at home and in Cafe.We also have three Labs that will be kept busy with the bones...............I remember taking a course at CIA Napa and doing everything right degreasing and the whole ball of wax..............After I was done I put the pot in the walk in and saw all the other stocks with a thick amount of grease on top. I asked the older German instructor how come I had to do it right and the rest just throw it in the walk in and take off the layer of grease when it cools...............His answer was, You asked me to show you the right way of making a stock, not a easy way......................Good instructor, he had me pegged from the start.. Nice to see someone doing it right, thanks for taking the time......................Bill
post #10 of 10
Nice post. Instructor sounds typically German.

Since there is a lot of time consumed in "doing it right", I take a whole box of 44-48 lbs of veal bones from New Zealand, grown w/o antibiotics or hormones or anything other than the pasture.

And made 23 1/2 qts. of veal stock ala Escoffier. Then we spent an hour or so doing 2 batches in 2 canners, and canned the veal stock. A little bit of fat does float to the top, I didn't skim as closely as I have in the past apparently. But no problem. I can spoon it out when I pop open a jar, and the aroma is as fresh as the day we made it.

From there the soup is easy to make. And veal is soo much more exquisite tasting than beef. ALthough I wouldn't turn down a beef stock, as long as I know where it came from. Still cautious about Mad Cow. Veal too young to get it. I pay anywhere from $.99 to $1.59/lb for the bones.

Usually can get them for about $1.25/lb when they're on sale. Free delivery too.

Still in the NZ governement stamped and sealed cases!

doc
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