We have a new favorite restaurant in our little village and we go there often on our 'date nights' which makes me very, very happy.
On Valentine's Day, the menu included short ribs, and we brought the bone home for my old girl, Lily.
Of course, Monkey stole it from Lily within a minute or two, but sweetie solved that problem by sawing it in half.
Now Monkey has two halves. She's a little punk like that.
So, when we were at our favorite restaurant again on Friday, we asked if they might have any more bones in the kitchen that we could bring home for the pups.
Our server came out with a giant bag of short rib racks that the chef had frozen to make beef sauce and gave them to us.
Well, you know there was no way I was going to miss out on that opportunity!
There were about 4 racks of ribs in that bag, and this weekend the first rack made the most incredible beef broth.
Lucky you, I remembered to take photos so I could share the recipe!
I wanted to roast the rack first to really bring out the deep flavors. I preheated the oven to 425 while I got the rack ready. 4 yellow onions, sliced in half, and 3 heads of garlic joined the roast in the oven.
I roasted it until it got nice and brown and let me tell you, the aroma in the house was heavenly!
While the rack was in the oven, I got the rest of the ingredients ready in the crockpot.
Two more heads of garlic, a handful of frozen baby carrots, a half pint of frozen mushrooms, about 3 stalks of celery, and the white ends of a bunch of scallions. And, of course, a hunk of frozen parmesan reggiano.
Next came the roasted rack...that was the hardest part, trying to get that rack to fit in my crockpot! I dumped in the roasted onions and garlic, and rinsed the pan, scraping up any brown bits, and tossed the liquid in as well. On top went some tomatoes that were starting to get wrinkly (like me, ha!) and needed to be used up.
Next up, a healthy sprinkle of dried parsley, 3 bay leaves, a sprinkle of thyme, a heavy dose of freshly ground pepper, and a light sprinkle of freshly ground sea salt.
The final seasoning I added was my favorite Vermont Country Seasoning.
Sorry about the blurry photo, I stole it off their website....don't tell.
I love this stuff and I use it in all my broths, and most of my soups as well.
I filled the crockpot to the brim with cold water and set it on low.
My crockpot might not look as good as it used to (like me, ha again!) but it still works like a charm.
Remember when you are making broth you need to let it simmer on low for at least 24 hours to let the flavors really develop.
The next afternoon I had this. And my house smelled amazing!
I took the lid off and let it cool for a while, and then strained it through a fine mesh strainer.
And then I had this....just look at how deep and rich that broth is! This is far better than anything you can buy at the supermarket, that's for sure!
You can see that as the broth cools, the fat rises to the top. I put the broth in the fridge, and before I use it I will skim all the fat off.
When I was straining the broth I made sure to set aside the now clean bones for the pups, as well as all the beef that fell off the bones.
Lucky pups, for sure!
And we're pretty lucky as well, because tonight some of that broth is going to become this:
French Onion Soup Au Gratin. One of my favorite soups of all time.
Served with a loaf of crusty peasant bread, we're talking pure heaven here, folks.
I'm drooling already.