Monday, November 28, 2011

An Eighth of Beef

For several years now, we buy beef when our friend, a retired veterinarian, has his steers butchered. Steaks, roasts, cubes, and ground. And bones.

I'm not sure of the exact cost per pound.  The bottom line here is not money, but it is thrift nonetheless:  buying local organic meat is better for the economy, the environment, and our health.

I filled my mom's slow cooker and mine with bones.  Plus water, carrot tops, onions, peppercorns, salt, and - most importantly - a splash of vinegar.  The vinegar draws the calcium out of the bones into the stock.  Amen for calcium!  It's not just in milk!

I simmered the whole business for 4 days and nights.  Truthfully, it doesn't smell all that great.

Then I let it cool down, strained off the fat (tallow), and canned the stock with Rebecca's pressure canner because my freezer was chock full of beef.  Oh my.  I had never had a bomb (pressure canner) in my kitchen before, but Rebecca and the owner's manual were both clear and reassuring.

I think I'm going to try to make soap with my little bit of tallow - why not?  It's a lovely pale green from the carrot tops.


A said...

Look very forward to hearing about how the soap process goes. In ye olden days didn't it somehow involve ash? If so, come do it here and I'll hook you up with buckets of ash.

Beth said...

Yay for good beef! We got our half about a month ago! I LOVE soup bones. I've not been as wise and efficient with mine as you have been (I would love to get there, though, with the broth making and all)...but dang, it makes good soup, to cook beans with a few soup bones in it. Yum! And the two crock pots made me smile - we're about to buy a 2nd big one, because one's not cutting it for us anymore (at least not if we want leftovers).

Thank you for the kind comment, by the way.

Polly said...

You clever thing!! Four days!!!!!!!!!

Do make soap. I don't know how to do it but it sounds wonderful (you had me at 'green').

Christian - Modobject@Home said...

Last year we bought a quarter of a local calf and so enjoyed all of its benefits. Sadly, we received no bones... I'm good about making chicken broth but beef broth is something I've never done. Be sure to report back on the soap making!