Thursday, February 12, 2015

Bone Broth with Chicken Feet and Wedding Soup with Liver, Oh My!

Recently my husband and I had the opportunity to give a cooking demonstration at the Pittsburgh Public Market. What a blast, cooking nourishing food with my best friend! We taught how to make nourishing bone broth as well as Italian wedding soup. We use a lot of organ meats in our cooking. They've long been sacred foods and we are thankful for the rich nutrients they provide. Here is our take on bone broth. I've also adapted a wedding soup recipe from www.TheKitchn.com with Weston A. Price methodology. 


Nourishing Bone Broth


For our variation of bone broth we roast a chicken for dinner, tossing the giblets in the roasting pan. We pick off all of the meat and enjoy it in tacos or with whatever we’re having. Then we take the chicken bones, giblets and all the pan drippings and put them into our pressure cooker. We also add about a half a teaspoon of whole black peppercorns, a bay leaf, a tablespoon of sea salt, a dash of raw apple cider vinegar, a carrot, an onion, some garlic, and some chicken feet if you have any on hand. We get ours from Asian markets. Cover with water, about 2 quarts. We set the pressure to high and the time for as long as it will go, about 90 minutes. At the end of cooking we strain the bones and vegetables through a metal strainer, pour into jars, wait until the broth cools, and keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. We sometimes put the broth into ice cube trays so that we have a small bit to add to vegetables or rice etc.


*A note on crock pots and stock pots. If you are using the stove top or slow cooker method it will take about 24 hours to get a full extraction from your bones. Because of the long cooking time, wait to add the vegetables until about about hour or 2 before you plan to strain the broth. This keeps the broth from becoming bitter. Alternatively, you can leave them out altogether, this still makes a tasty broth.


Nourishing Wedding Soup with Dandelion Greens


Once you have jars of liquid gold in your fridge you’ll soon find lots of ways to use them. One of my favorites is Italian Wedding Soup. I’ve taken a great recipe from The Kitchn.com and amped it up with some beef liver, pastured eggs, and homemade bread crumbs.


I always make my meatballs with about an ounce or two of grated grass fed beef liver in them. This adds vitamin A, as well a plentitude of B vitamins to my meal. When we served it at the Public Market I don’t think some of the people who were late to the demo had any idea! Its great for tricking kids and husbands, in my opinion. :)


To grate the liver, I keep it frozen at all times, pull it out of the freezer when its time to cook, grate it like a hard cheese until I have as much as I want, then put it away again before it defrosts. With this method you won’t be eating tons of liver, but you will be able to add a super food boost to common dinner dishes. This method works for all things using ground beef, hamburgers, tacos, shepherd's pie.


For the greens, my children and I like to forage for dandelions in the spring and summer. We have a large untreated backyard where lots of happy dandelions grow. The tender greens are perfect for this soup. The dandelion greens from the store are so bitter! We learned to avoid those.


If its not dandelion season, or you have a manicured lawn (I won’t judge) I find that swiss chard is a great green to have on hand in the kitchen, it cooks quickly, can even be substituted as lettuce in a pinch. For this soup, you can use any green you like, these are just my favorites.


To make my bread crumbs I take a loaf of sourdough bread and let it get a little hard. That happens quickly when you buy bread thats not been treated with conditioners and preservatives. I slice it, put it in the oven at 300 for about 10 minutes or until its dry and hard. Next, I pop it in my food processor until its all crumbly. I store mine in a glass jar. I like to add garlic powder, sea salt, black pepper, and a store bought blend of Italian herbs. I add them by smell and taste. When the bread crumbs smell nice and fragrant you’ve nailed it.


The rest of the recipe goes like this

8 cups homemade bone broth
½ pound ground grass feed beef 
½ pound ground pastured pork 
2 ounces grated grass fed beef liver
1/2 cup sour dough bread crumbs
3 large pastured eggs
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese, divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano) 
1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch greens trimmed and torn into bite-sized pieces
Red pepper flakes, optional
Lemon wedges, optional
"Combine the ground meat, bread crumbs, 1 egg, 1/4 cup of each cheese, oregano, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix thoroughly, then form the mixture into 3/4-inch to 1 1/2-inch balls. You should have 20 to 30 meatballs, depending on how large you form them.
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. Add the meatballs in batches and cook, turning, until browned all over, 3 to 5 minutes. (If they are still a bit pink in the middle, don't worry; they will continue to cook in the broth.) Set them aside on paper towels or a paper bag to absorb excess oil.
In a 4- to 6-quart soup pot, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onions are tender and the garlic is soft, but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Add the greens, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the meatballs and cook another 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the remaining 2 eggs and remaining cheeses in small bowl and stir with a fork to blend. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the hot soup, stirring constantly. Cover and simmer just until egg bits are set, about 30 seconds. Season to taste with salt and black pepper, maybe even a pinch of red pepper flakes and a squirt of lemon juice. Serve immediately.
Leftovers will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To re-heat, simmer gently over low heat." - TheKitchn


There you have it! I took a recipe from http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-italian-wedding-soup-136211 and modified it with Weston A. Price touches. Definitely add the lemon at the end! The acidity cuts perfectly against the rich broth. I hope you enjoy it!