When we cut up chickens to sell recently, we ended up with the chicken carcass, which consists of the neck and the back, the breastbone and rib cage, a skin-fat portion from the lower back, and some meat and skin. We packaged these, two in a package and are selling them as chicken carcasses for broth. (My daughter-in-law doesn’t like the word carcass, but the synonyms are remains, skeleton, and body, so I think carcass it is.)
I thawed these carcasses and then covered them with about 6 quarts of water. As with all my broths, I covered the pot, brought it to a boil, turned it to low and let it simmer for 2-3 hours. This pic is of the broth with the carcasses still in the pot.
I then made 2 batches of soup with the broth.
The first one had the leftover meat, probably about 4 cups, some greens, celery, summer squash, cauliflower, and carrots. I had rice on the side for those who wanted that.
The second one was broth with vegetables. The broth had cooled in the refrigerator. It had a layer of yellow fat on the top. Very tasty! I used the vegetables that I had, in this case, carrots, celery, yellow beans, summer squash, and Swiss chard, and made enough for however many I was feeding that day.
As I thought, the chicken carcasses make a really nice broth. More meals for our fall and winter meats!
Meaty Shank Soupbones and Short Ribs are beef cuts that do well with moist slow cooking. They both have a bone, some fat (marrow in the shank bone), and some meat. I tend to saute the meat, saute companion vegetables, almost cover with broth or water, and let it simmer on the stove top for 2-4 hours. (After the sauteing, this could also be cooked on low in a crockpot for 6-10 hours.)
The flavor will change depending on the vegetables used. Winter squash, like butternut squash, or sweet potatoes will thicken the mixture. Diced or crushed tomatoes will give it a tomato flavor. Consistency will be more stew like if less water or broth is used. And if more water or broth is used, the consistency will be more soup-like.
Slow-cooked Beef and Vegetables
The meaty shank soup bone or short ribs (or other beef cut) is browned, then vegetables are sauteed, and all of it is simmered for several hours. Depending on the amount of broth or water, this makes a good stew or soup.
2-6tbspoilbutter, or fat in divided amounts, added as needed
1-2meaty shank soup bones OR 4-5 beef short ribs
2-4cupsvegetables, include what you have – broccoli, cauliflower, summer squash, zucchini, green/yellow beans, winter squash, pod peas, sweet potatoes, greens, kalechopped
16-28oz.diced or crushed tomatoes, opt.
2-6cupsbroth or waterchicken or beef, use enough to bring liquid to the level of the vegetables and meat
1/2carrot per person, cleaned
Brown meaty shank soup bones or short ribs in oil for 3-4 minutes on each side in dutch oven. Remove from pot.
Saute the fresh vegetables. Add oil as needed.
Put the meat back in the pot under the vegetables. You do this by pushing the vegetables to the side and putting the meat down, then covering the meat with the vegetables.
If using tomatoes, cover with diced tomatoes. Add broth to the level of the vegetables.
Put whole cleaned carrots on the top of the vegetables. Drizzle lightly with oil.
Cover pot. Bring to a boil, turn to low, and simmer for 2-3 hours.
Slice cooked carrots. As they are on the top, they are easy to reach. You don't need to take them out of the pot; just slice them where they are.
Take meat out, cut into fine pieces or shred. Cut marrow or fat into small pieces. Add all meat and fat back to pot and stir it all together.
Serve as is, or over rice or cooked potatoes.
The carrots tend to be sweeter when left to cook as a whole carrot. And they slice up really easily after 2-3 hours.This is an -ish recipe. Lots of meats and vegetables can be used giving it different flavors each time.
Pork roasts include shoulder roast, butt roast, and boneless loin roast. All of these have some fat that adds to the flavor. This fat should also be used to flavor other parts of the meal. So if I am cooking a roast in the oven, I will put sliced or chunked up potatoes with a little bit of water underneath the roast. As the meat cooks, the fat will melt and mix with the potatoes. (I do cover the meat and potatoes with aluminum foil to keep the moisture in. And I typically cook everything at 400F – I think that my stove runs cold and I have found this temp to work well for our kitchen.)
Roasts like these also do well in the crockpot. I put my veggies in the crockpot first. This could include potatoes, winter squash, beans, sweet potatoes, broccoli, or cauliflower (or whatever I have). Then I put the roast in the middle. If it is too high, I make a well in the veggies, so that the meat fits in it and the lid can seal on the top. I put a small amount of water in the bottom to give something to add steam. A lot of these roasts do well with moist heat, and the crockpot lets us provide this.
I don’t have an insta-pot, but it would work in a similar fashion. Follow the manufacturer’s directions.
Meat is meat. You can eat it whatever kind of meat whenever you want to. But some meats seem more suited to certain times of year. Roasts; whole duck, chicken or turkey; and slow cooked meats tend to be better suited to fall and winter. As they slowly cook in the crockpot, on the stove top, or in the oven, they help generate heat for the house. The warm food will also warm the body.
This series will look at the meats we have and ways they can be used. Especially in the fall and winter. Here are links to the meats we have written about.
This time of year we have patty pan squash. These bowl-shaped summer squash are mostly yellow with a green circle on the blossom end. They can be used in the same way as zucchini or yellow summer squash.
Here is a look at the inside of a patty pan. The top one was cut horizontally and the bottom one vertically. It is meatier than zucchini or yellow summer squash.
Two customers like to slice them horizontally and roast them. They put some basting oil with seasoning in the pan, place the patty pan circles on top, and add some onion or garlic. One customer roasts it like this for 20 min. at 400F, then flips them and roasts them until the edges are brown and it is sort of caramelized. The other customer, after placing them in the pan, sprinkles them with parmesan cheese and roasts them until the cheese browns. Both of them love patty pan season!
I am more simple. I tend to slice and boil them like I might with zucchini or yellow summer squash. OR I wedge/chunk them up and add them to the veggie stir fry mix for the day. With any of these ways they are a good squash, tasty and pretty!
Recently I made fried up hamburger and added veggies to make a dish to pass. Other than celery the rest of the veggies – green beans, beet greens, Swiss chard, and golden beets – came fresh from the garden. I also roasted potato wedges, lightly oiled, for the starch.
First I thawed the ground beef and then scrambled or fried it. Once the pink was gone I added veggies with generous glugs of olive oil: celery, green beans, golden beets washed and sliced, beet green stems and leaves, Swiss chard. I sauteed these, covering them and letting them steam/sweat in the heat and oil. Once I had steam I turned the heat to low and let them sit for several minutes. When they were soft enough, I took them off the stove and put them in the serving pan. They were a good addition to dinner.
Here is a variation. I cooked hamburger and then added these veggies. They were ones I had and also fresh ones from the garden – green and yellow wax beans, beet greens, yellow summer squash, zucchini squash, beets, patty pan squash.
This variation ended up looking like this. Tasty and delicious!
In the summer tacos are an easy meal. A traditional taco would have ground beef, ground pork, or chorizo as easy meat choices. Add some canned kidney or black beans, refried beans, lots of lettuce, and some tomatoes or salsa. Put it on corn or tortilla chips, or on flour or corn taco shells and you have dinner.
So what is chorizo? Ours is beef mixed with spices and garlic powder, giving the beef a Mexican flavor. It is in casing similar to our sausage. You can remove this to cook it like you would ground beef or cook it in the casing and chunk it up afterwards.
We have also made fish tacos this year. We saute fillets of fish (haddock, cod, perch) in lots of butter. Once it is cooked, it flakes apart easily. Next we make up mayonnaise coleslaw (cabbage, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower all grated and mixed with mayo). Then we spread the fish on a taco shell, cover it with coleslaw, and add some tomatoes and lettuce. Finally we fold it up and eat it. Good eating!
This year we raised ducks for meat for the first time. Like our other poultry they arrive in the mail. After picking them up from the post office, we put them in the brooder under heat lamps, give them water to clean their bills and nose off, and provide local organic grain for them to eat.
Once they have feathered out, we move them outside to our portable chicken (duck) tractor. We move this twice daily, providing them with fresh grass, and water and feed as before. This allows them to be raised outdoors, but protects them from predators.
Once they are large enough we process them for meat., similar to how we process chickens and turkeys. Because their feathers are water resistant, we need to do an extra scald in hot paraffin. This pulls off the feathers that didn’t come up in the regular scald.
We finish the process by packaging them in poultry shrink bags. This allows for a nicer presentation and should have reduced freezer burn and ice build up.