Thursday, February 20, 2014

the Framboise Manor guide to home-made veg broth

this post is for my friend Sue. we have been talking back and forth about making broth and i thought i would post the way that we do it here, for her. (that and the fact that i have not been maintaining this blog at all! i want to - and know that there will be a time when we aren't up to our eyeballs doing a million of other things - and i really like using a blog to collect recipes! all of this to say that i will be trying to keep up to date with this blog!)

this is not so much of a recipe as it is a how-to guide and it is the way that we make all of our home-made broth. there are millions of recipes and whatnot but i thought i would share "our way" and if any of you are interested - then that's awesome!

first off - because we don't have chickens or other animals that would gladly eat the tops of carrots or veggies about to go off - i save all of the cleaned trimmings, skins, peels, etc. from all of our veggies. i store these in a freezer bag and add to it daily. i also grab any veg/fruit that is about to go off and store those in the freezer bags as well. these will be used to make the broth. whenever i plan on making broth, i always make sure to have fresh celery, onion and carrot as these fresh veggies will really make the flavour in the broth with the frozen ones adding water from their melting, and a deepening flavour.

i start with a big giant pot on my tiny stove. i get the bottom nice and hot and then i swirl olive oil 4 or 5 times to semi-coat the bottom and throw in a good heaping spoon of butter (if you are concerned about fat content or whatnot, you can leave out the butter. but the butter to me is what truly makes a good broth!). i chop up 2 fresh onions into 6-8 wedges and toss those into the butter. i clean the carrots but i do not peel them. i also leave the tops and bottoms on. i chop about 6 of those in half and toss those in to the pot. i clean a few stalks of fresh celery and chop them in half and toss them in the pot. i then liberally add sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. you can leave out the salt if you desire, but i believe that the salt really helps with the flavour. i stir these veggies and let them cook until they start to brown. once browned, i add 2 cups of filtered rainwater. i turn the heat down to medium.


next, i dump a bag or two of a variety of frozen veggies from my saved stash in. you could skip this step by adding more fresh veggies in the beginning. next i toss in 10-12 pieces of garlic. i smash the garlic with the back of the knife but i don't crush it or chop it - you don't need to. next i add a big splash of vinegar with the mother in it and a heaping teaspoon of unpasteurized honey. give all of this a nice stir, and help the frozen veggies melt. now it's on to spices.

i throw every spice i have in to the pot. i just take a pinch of everything using my fingers. i throw in 8-10 bay leaves, pinch of rosemary, thyme, turmeric, curry powder, cinnamon, cumin, cilantro/coriander, chili powder, cayenne, paprika, sage, oregano, and some more sea salt and cracked pepper. i bring the pot up to a boil, and once at a boil, put a lid on and set the heat to medium-low, just to keep the pot at a simmer. i check the pot quite regularly, give it a stir and keep it at a simmer. after an hour or so, all of the frozen veggies should be melted. at this point i add as much water as needed to fill the pot, bring it back to a boil, put the lid back on and bring the heat down to a simmer again.

then i leave it at a simmer for 6 or 8 or 10 hours, constantly checking it, stirring it, etc. once the set amount of time has passed, i spoon out as much vegetables as i can and let the soup cool. once cooled, i line a colander with some paper towel and pour out the broth into another big bowl or pot. once the liquid is fully cooled, i pour it into a variety of sized containers and freeze it. this will be the base for your poultry and beef broth.

i usually make a beef or poultry broth the very next day and save 4 cups of the veggie stock in the fridge to do so. i start the pot with the same olive oil, butter, and fresh onion, celery and carrot stir fry. once the veggies have browned, i add the 4 cups of veggie broth that i saved in the fridge. then i throw in some more of the frozen saved veggie pieces. in the case of poultry broth, i throw in at least 2 frozen carcasses, all of the wing/leg bones, any remaining meat, all of the fat, etc. i find that the best poultry or beef broth starts with a good veggie broth as the base. in the case of a beef broth, i throw in frozen bones from roasts, steaks, all the fat, any remaining bits of meat, etc. i melt the frozen carcasses/bones on medium heat and after about an hour they and the veggies should be melted. at this point i add as much filtered rainwater as is needed to fill the pot. i then throw in pinches of all of the spices that i used to make the veggie broth above. i bring the pot to a boil, put a lid on it and let it simmer all day, checking it and stirring it regularly.

after 6 or 8 or 10 hours has passed, i remove all of the carcasses/bones etc with a slotted spoon. then i let the broth cool. once cooled a little, i line a colander with paper towel and pour into another big pot or bowl. this step is CRUCIAL to getting the gelatinous goopy fat out of your broth. put into a variety of containers and once completely cooled, put in the freezer. or can your broth - it's up to you!

i hope that this guide has been helpful. if anyone has any questions, please don't hesitate to ask them!

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