Monthly Archives: September 2014

Beefy Soup

So many vegetables!

So many vegetables! I could just eat them raw.

I’ve been super lucky throughout my pregnancy. I’ve been very healthy through most of it. I’ve only had cravings for healthy food, mostly broccoli. I’ve been working on stocking up some pre made food for after I have my baby. I wanted to make something that would be great from before baby and recovery after baby. This soup is made with marrow bone broth and ox tail, along with a whole host of amazing vegetables. The extra iron and vitamins in the soup will really be beneficial for  any woman but especially the post labor woman in your life. After I made it I realized that I just and to have tomatoes! So I went back and added a few can of diced tomatoes, and some tomato paste. It really kicked up the heartiness of the soup. However, I don’t have any pictures of beefy soup 2.0 so just imagine how great it looks!

 

Beefy Soup

Bone Marrow Broth – go here for that recipe

7 ox tail pieces (give or take your own preferences)

1 medium onion diced

2 red bell peppers diced (about 2-2.5 cups for the next four ingredients)

1 small butternut squash diced

4-5 stalks of diced celery

4-5 carrots diced

a head of garlic chopped (yes a head, it’s recovery soup! garlic is good for that)

1.5 heads of kale ripped up.

1 tbsp black pepper

1 tsp hot peppers or cayenne (remember, recovery)

1 tsp parsley

1/2 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp smoky paprika

1/4 tsp majoram

1/4 tsp savory

(2-3 cans of diced tomatoes and 2 cans of tomato paste)

 

meat, meat, meat, yummy meat

Frist brown your meat in a very large stock pot. Everything will be going into this pot eventually so make sure it’s big. I like to brown the meat because it adds a lovely depth to the flavor. These ox tails had a thick side of fat, so I started with that side first to render some fat to cook them in. See? I’m smart. Brown all sides, and set aside.

this is where delicious starts

This is where the magic starts. The bottom of the pan will have all sorts of meat and fat stuck to it. By cooking the onions, the moisture will help loosen up that deliciousness, giving that depth I was talking about. Cook onions until they are starting to become translucent. Note they are not actually browning, that’s the good stuff stuck in the pan adhering now to the onions. Lucky onions.

so pretty

When your onions are soft, add the squash and the red peppers. Keep temperature at medium high and occasionally stir vegetables. Cook for about 4 minutes.

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Add in carrots and celery. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes.

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Add seasonings, meat, and broth. Look at all that dark rich goodness! Bring soup to a slow boil for about 15 minutes. Add in kale for last two minutes. You can also skip the boiling and cook on low for about an hour. When all the vegetables are soft and your meat is cooked through your soup is done. Now I said above that I decided this soup would be even better with tomatoes. I wish I thought of that first! Add about 2-3 cans of diced tomatoes and two cans of tomato paste when you add in your broth. It gives it a great rich color and really ups the flavor. But this soup was delicious just as it was, but even better with the tomatoes. I left the meat on the bones. It’s a preference thing. If you’d rather not have bones in your soup you can remove the meat after you boil it.

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beefy soup

This makes a ton of soup. I planned on that because I wanted to freeze a bunch for post baby meals. This is a great fall/winter soup that’s super hearty and would make a great gift for a friend in need of a bit of an immune boost.

 


Beef Jerky

I know I’ve blogged about it before here. But, I recently made more beef jerky. Since I’ve become pregnant I’ve really had a diminished taste for things like salt and sugar. Most potato chips are too salty for me. So everything I make lately has a lot less sugar and salt in it. Now jerky is one of those things that you must have salt for. It preserves the meat. Below is the modified recipe. I ran out of cumin so mine didn’t have any but you should add it because it’s smart. I had smoky paprika instead of regular. I think it makes for a great smoky flavor with out the added chemicals of the liquid smoke.

Meat!

Jerky

1 lb of lean beef

1/2 tbsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp red pepper

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cumin (I forgot to get more but it’s good in the mix)

1/8 cup of soy sauce (use fancy tamari for gluten-free)
I’m going to try to play around with different flavors because I think I’d like to offer it for sale. This time around I attempted to run a cost comparison on the meat vs the final product. I think I can produce this at a reasonable rate.

For those that wish to make it themselves above is the recipe I recently used (notice the smaller amounts of salt and soy sauce). I think it gives plenty of great flavor without so much salt. Also no sugar! I don’t understand why all jerky contains sugar, drives me crazy. If you’re looking to save money get a larger lean roast. Partially freeze it, and cut it by hand. You need a pretty steady hand and a very sharp knife. Make sure to trim all the fat.

cut meat and trimmings

I saved my trimming for adding to ground meat or maybe awesome dog treats. Our local HEB sells very thin top round and Milanese style cuts of beef that are perfect for jerky if you don’t want to hand cut it. It does make life easier but you pay more for the precut meat. Mix seasoning well and pour into a zip bag with your meat. Make sure all the pieces are covered with the seasoning, then refrigerate over night.

mmm gooey

mmm gooey

you will soon be delicious

The time varies greatly on how long it takes to full dry. The thickness of the meat, the ambient humidity, and your dehydrator will all play a factor in this. If you check it every 1-2 hours your first time you’ll have a better idea how well your unit runs.

Playing Tetris with raw beef is fun!

The thinnest pieces will be finished at 4 hours the thicker ones at 8. I make sure to rotate the trays to allow for even flow of air every two hours. When I rotate I check the pieces for dryness. I also live in a very humid place so my times maybe longer than yours.

You can buy extra racks for it. It was a reasonable price and highly rated. I have no affiliation with this brand but I definitely would recommend it.

You can buy extra racks for it. It was a reasonable price and highly rated. I have no affiliation with this brand but I definitely would recommend it.

glorious dried meat

For storage we prefer to vacuum seal the meat into snack size bags. In a regular zipper top plastic bag, in our climate, the meat lasts around 2 months. (I found some in the back of the cabinet that had gone bad, so sad) but the vacuum sealed bags lasts longer than that.

I still have yet to find how long that is. The only preservative is salt so there will be a shelf life. But, if you’re stocking up for Armageddon, might I suggest vacuum sealing and then freezing? Otherwise for normal consumption a batch like this is fine in your cabinet until consumed.

T has taken to cutting it up and adding it to the homemade trail mix. Great clean energy all day long!