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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Salvaging Gristly Fatty Beef

Last year I bought this huge slab of beef. I have no idea what I was thinking, I am no cook. I must have had a reason, but I just had the hubby cut it in 3 pieces and place it in the freezer where its been for a year (I think). Hubby found it while rearranging the freezer, asked me what my plan was. Since I told him I've had no plan that I remember for a year, he took one out and treated it like pot roast. (We both have no idea what this piece of meat was. Sad. Sad.) It turned out really well.

So next chunk, he decides to smoke. My favorite saying is "Everything tastes better smoked." And I've tried everything in the smoker--including raccoon. So far, my pithy saying has held out--until this chunk of mystery meat. It was so gristly that my hubby, who would eat meat and only meat for the rest of his life if he could, didn't even attempt to make anyone else take a bite. He asked how I wanted to dispose of this large chunk of meat.

Figuring I could do something with it other than trash it, I decided to attempt to make stock with it. Yeah, usually you are using only bones, but it was trash anyway. So I put it in the crock pot and cooked it for 24 hours almost. I get him to help tip it out and strain it, when he starts poking around the meat and says "I think this might be decent meat now." Tore off a hunk and sure enough, a great tasting pot roast sans gristle and fat. Bonus dinner, always good news for me.

So, if you have an awful piece of meat, try fixing it by making stock. Worst case scenario is you'll still have to throw it away, but hey, you have stock!

My stock making procedure:

Put in bones, meat leftovers, veggie leftovers or those needed to be used up pretty soon and whatever spices you want. I usually throw in basil, parsley, salt and garlic cloves, onions, potatoes, with whatever else I have on hand (beware, beets work, but they make your stock funny colored). I go light on the salt, can always add more.

Cover with cold filtered water. Put in one T. vinegar. Sit for one hour. (Vinegar is supposed to draw out the nutrients in the foods. Don't know if that's true, but hasn't hurt anything)

Turn on low for about 18 hours or until the smell of it drives you crazy hungry.

Then strain, put broth in large bowl in fridge. The fat will rise to the top and you can just then break it off and discard.

Freeze in ice cube trays and store per this procedure.

3 comments:

Ryan and Melanie said...

you have the coolest ideas! I've given you an award on my blog today:)

Nichole said...

Obviously it was a working muscle of the animal..probably from the forequarter. These parts always require long slow cooking. Excellent that you saved it and didn't throw it away as some might have done!!

MJ said...

Interesting educational info, Nichole. Thanks. I am obviously clueless! :)