Ribs: they’re not just for making woman

“Mom, how do you make bwoth?” my 4 year old Christina asked me tonight.

“I put some meat and bones and a few veggies in a pot with some water, and cook it.”

“That’s it?” she asked. “Like magic?”

And it is a little like magic, all the wonderful things that broth can do. It nourishes the body, soothes the digestion, strengthens the bones and joints, and comforts us in the eating of it.

But that’s not even the coolest part. Today I discovered an amazing trick.

Obviously I have already sung the praises of buying grassfed meat in bulk. We’ve ordered another, but our freezer is running really low. All we have left is a few packages of beef ribs, another heart (we made the first into chili), a liver and a couple of tongues. (Our cow wasn’t a mutant – we just got extra that others didn’t want.)

I recently saw on a cooking show some new-to-me tricks for making really good broth that I’ve been implementing. One is to add the onion skin-on for a golden colored broth. Another is to use parsnips for extra sweetness. And the third is to add some beef ribs to the chicken broth for extra flavor.

Well, today I thought of something so simple it was genius. (And I doubt I’m the first to think of it, of course.) I needed stock for next week’s soups, and we were going to have ribs tonight for dinner. I remembered that one common way of preparing ribs is to braise them before grilling or baking. So I thought – why not boil the ribs to make stock with leftover T-bones, etc in the freezer, and then bake them with homemade barbecue sauce?

Um, good decision. They were so tender and flavorful.

But the goodness doesn’t stop there!

The stock was rich with rendered fat so I carefully saved the broth (using a fat separator) and poured the fat into a shallow dish to chill. Then I’ll save it separately in the fridge for sauteeing veggies. (I scooped some of it right off the soup and threw it in the pan to cook our green beans with dinner tonight.)

Then (yes, there’s more!) after dinner, I threw the bones back into the crock pot with my stock ingredients (har) and I’m getting another gallon of goodness out of it.

Four uses from one cut of meat. I think we’re doing that cow proud.

Linked up to Monday Mania and Pennywise Platter.

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