Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Bubble, Bubble, Toil, and...Double
With apologies to the Bard for taking license with his verse, today I have a double post. First, I'd like to share some exciting news about a must-have cookbook that is in the making. If you don't know about BloggerAid (http://www.bloggeraid.ning.com) click on their logo on my sidebar, it's a wonderful venture by 3 dedicated food bloggers--Ivy of Kopiaste (http://kopiaste.org/ ), Giz of Equal Opportunity Kitchen (http://www.eatfordinner.blogspot.com/ ), and Val of More Than Burnt Toast (http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com/) to bring attention to world hunger. Among their many projects is an incredible fundraising venture whose profits, 100% of them, will be donated to the World Food Program, A U.N. Frontline agency. They are being assisted in this worthy cause by Gloria of Cookbook Cuisine (http://cookbookcuisine.blogspot.com/) and a cadre of like-minded food bloggers. There are many ways to help out as you will discover when you visit BloggerAid. One of them is to submit an original recipe that has not been featured on your blog to date. All the information for participating is laid out at BloggerAid.
My own recipe submission is a favorite cold-weather dish, one that we enjoyed earlier this week, Slow-cooked Tuscan Pork with Beans. This ain't your daddy's pork and beans. It's a hearty, earthy dish that is as flavorful as it is economical. It can easily serve 8, but if you're lucky enough to have leftovers, it reheats well with the addition of some broth, or just shred the pork and add some of your favorite sauce for a great sandwich. Please visit BloggerAid to see how you can help this wonderful initiative.
AND NOW FOR THE OTHER HALF OF THIS POST:
I have a wonderful recipe to share that produces 2 completely different soups. I can live on soup in the fall and winter and try to make a pot every week or so. This beef soup is simple, but has an incredible flavor thanks, in part, to the soup bones and marrow. The vegetable puree is made with the vegetables that simmer in the beef broth so nothing is wasted. The beef soup will serve 6 generously; the vegetable puree serves 4. Both soups freeze well, but why would you want to?
2-3 beef soup marrow bones, sliced (see photo)
1 lb beef chuck
1 (8 oz) can tomatoes, squeezed to break into small pieces
3 large carrots, peeled and halved
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
1 large potato, peeled and quartered
3 celery stalks with leaves, halved
3 parsley sprigs
salt and pepper to taste
8 cups water
1/2 lb acini di pepe, cooked and drained just before soup is ready to be served
freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese for garnish
Place the soup bones in cold water and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse well.
Place the washed bones, beef, vegetables, and seasonings in a large soup pot. Add 8 cups of water and slowly bring to a boil, skimming off any foam
Simmer, covered, for 3 hours, stirring from time to time.
Remove the bones, meat, and vegetables. Shred the meat and reserve. Strain the vegetables and set aside. Strain the broth into another large pot** and return to the heat.
Cook the pasta and strain. Add the shredded beef and the pastato the broth and heat through. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with grated cheese.
**in truth, I like to make this soup the day before or early in the day and place the strained broth in the refrigerator. Chuck has more fat than most beef and in this way the fat solidifies and I can scoop all of it off the broth before continuing; it's delicious with the fat, but more healthy without it
You can make this at the same time so the flavors can meld or refrigerate the vegetables and make the next day. Place all the vegetables (even the parsley) in a blender or food processor. Add 1-2 cups low sodium chicken broth--I prefer a thicker puree so used just one. Blend until completely smooth. The flavor of the beef with the pureed vegetables is just wonderful.