Friday, January 24, 2014

Beef broth in the slow cooker

According to Marcella Hazan beef broth is best made when cooked at a bare simmer for more than 6 hours. To take an endlessly cooking pot on the gas stove out of the equation, the slow cooker is the next best thing. On one of the last farmers markets in the fall I had bought a soup bone, basically a piece of relatively tough meat with a big bone in the middle. I placed it in the slow cooker in the evening, with boiling water, the necessary other broth herbal and spice ingredients and cooked it for 24 h. It looked and tasted already perfect after 12h, but even the beef was cook after 24h. Best way to make beef, chicken or seafood stock --- the slow cooker!

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Beef broth in the slow cooker
  • 1 pound of beef and bones (or specific soup beef, typically an inexpensive cut,  but the bones are crucial for a deep flavor)
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 stalks of celery, cut in 5 inch pieces
  • 2 carrots, cut in 2 inch pieced
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ca. 10 juniper berries
  • 1 TB pepper corns
  • 1 TB dried thyme
  • 1/2 teas spoon of salt
  • Optional: dried porcini mushroom
Set the slow cooker to low. Add the beef, and all the ingredients, fill it up with boiling water, and let cook for 24h.

Discard the vegetables and bones. Decide if you want to feed the beef to a dog or discard. Chill the stock and remove the fat, which will harden on the surface after 12h. Pour the stock into glass containers and chill in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 month in ziplock bags.

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