I purchased some flat-iron steaks, also called sizzle steaks by some grocers, and diced them for pita-pocket sandwiches. Since my wife hates tough meat and gristle, I removed every bit of the gristle that runs through the steak middle. As I was preparing everything, it struck me that I didn't have to throw the gristle and connecting tissue away. Instead, I threw it into a small sauce pan with about 2 cups of water and put it over a low flame. I let it cook until the water was almost gone. Supper was long over by then. I added more water and quickly sweated an onion and sliced carrot in the pan I had used to cook the diced beef. I added that to the stock made from the gristle. There was some of the diced beef left and so I threw that in too.
Again, I brought it all to a low simmer and let it cook for about an hour while we relaxed in front of the TV. I removed it from the heat and seasoned with salt. Tested a gristle piece and it was tender and soft, and mostly dissolved into collagen. The broth had a wonderful flavor and texture. I got up today and at lunch time, re-heated the soup. I added black pepper, frozen peas, a bit of barley, and about a tbs. of steel-cut oats. This soup came out incredible. There's enough left-over for lunch tomorrow as well.
If you love a good beefy vegetable soup, with lots of texture, don't throw away that gristle and connecting tissue. Turn it into soup, or freeze it for future use. Besides, when your at the end of the pay period, and out of money, and the freezer is getting low on supplies, this makes a cheap and very satisfying meal. One carrot, One onion, 1/4 cup frozen peas, the frozen beef parts, and some grains make a healthy, low fat, low sodium, and delicious soup, What more can you ask of a meal? I mean, this stuff was good enough to serve to company. Yum.
Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North