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Old 10-01-2008, 04:42 PM   #21
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Forgive me, cooking purists, but an envelope of dry onion soup mix makes a quick and tasty beef stock.
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Old 10-01-2008, 07:35 PM   #22
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I am not sure that the pressure cooking part has been addressed but you can make very fast and delicious stock in the pressure cooker in less than 30 minutes, adding whatever ingredients you want. I usually make vegetable stock but you can make chicken stock or beef stock with bones, herbs, spices and water, and then strain it. That's a great start for soup.

The wonderful thing about the pressure cooker is that it cuts cooking time by at least 50%, and sometimes more. Soups taste great when they come out of the cooker, much better than on the stove top.

Good luck.
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Old 10-01-2008, 07:39 PM   #23
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Just an update on the soup front;

Probably not the best time to speed read my new food processor's instructions. The "threesome" Andy mentioned turned into more of a slaw mixture, still, I added it to the oil the beef had browned in and tried to saute it the best I could. Of course it steamed instead.
I didn't give up. The short ribs went back in, along with the bay leaves, some thyme, almost 2 qts of water, about 1c of beef broth (wanted to use up) and things were brought to a simmer.... or so I thought. I turned the heat down too low and my simmer dyed off....
It's not smelling too bad, though. It's been 1-1/2 hours and the short ribs have peeled back from the bone, but are still rubbery, and I'm nearing the time I like to eat, more or less. The barley hasn't even been added.... and I have no idea whether or not to add some real veggies, or rely on the slaw mixture.

Then there is leaving this big pot of soup "somewhere" overnight, if I even get to eat any. Outside, too warm. In the fridge, bring down the temp too much. On the counter.... well, you all know where I'm going with this. There's not an ice bath in sight for this pot 'O soup.

But I'm not giving up! LOL
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Old 10-01-2008, 07:46 PM   #24
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VQ, I do feel using the PC might have sped things along. At least somewhere along the way. I made a darn good spaghetti sauce using it the other night, in twenty minutes! But I'm at where I'm at. It's smelling pretty darn good now, just not something I will ever do again at night. I think soup is more of a start it at noon thing....
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Old 10-01-2008, 07:59 PM   #25
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i think you are right. i usually make soup when the weather gets cooler. specially after thanksgiving. turkey and noodles, made a really good bean soup , but french onion is my forte. use beef stock for a starter .

i put veg. etc in crockpot, and carcass of turkey or chicken add noodles late in the process so don't get all soggy.
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Old 10-02-2008, 12:26 AM   #26
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VQ, I do feel using the PC might have sped things along. At least somewhere along the way. I made a darn good spaghetti sauce using it the other night, in twenty minutes! But I'm at where I'm at. It's smelling pretty darn good now, just not something I will ever do again at night. I think soup is more of a start it at noon thing....
Soup is usually best started the day before, or at least EARly in the morning on the day you want to eat it.

Short ribs aren't ever ready to eat in 1 1/2 hours, imho!
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Old 10-02-2008, 01:03 AM   #27
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The chicken skin (and fat) add to the flavor. Skim off the fat and dispose of the skin and bones after the meat is "fall off the bone" tender. Take your time. No matter what some "cooks" say - there is no good fast soup. Yes, baked potatoes are fine, as is just about anything else in the fridge that sounds good.
Enjoy!

Wish it was cool enough here to make soup.
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Old 10-02-2008, 03:58 AM   #28
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start with a good chicken or beef stock depending on what you're making........if you're making the beef stock brown the bones in the oven first........there is a thread on here describing how to do that.........now I don't make it any other way.........it adds so much flavor to the stock you will want to add onions, celery, carrots, bay leaves......peppercorns... garlic..turnip is you so desire......parsnips if you can afford them.....parsley...........then you add your meat later......I love fresh corn in a lot of my soups.......but you don't add that until the last 30 minutes......I just scrape it off the cob and add it........
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Old 10-02-2008, 04:20 AM   #29
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soup oh beautiful soup! all my left overs go into the soup especially salad all those greens. This time of the year is when it starts. My daughter said once how does left over spaghetti sauce turn into chicken soup?
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Old 10-02-2008, 11:28 AM   #30
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All right, sit down with a cup of coffee and a danish, as this is going to be a LONG read.

As many have said, your soup is ONLY as good as your stock. And I make killer stocks at home. Do a search for the thread I created about "Beef Stock 101". Use those words, with the quotes, and it ought to pull right up. WARNING: Lots and lots of pictures!

My chicken stock is made by roasting off chicken bones (I prefer to buy chicken leg-and-thing quarters, and save a lot of the scraps). I usually have around 10 lbs of scraps when I make a batch of stock. When all the boens are caramelized, I add them to my stockpot that's half-full of simmering water, along with a couple of onions, and several stalks of celery, all rough-cut. I don't really care for the taste of carrot in my chicken stock, so I leave it out. Fill with more hot water until everything is just covered, cover the pot, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let cook for about 12 hours (I usually cook chicken stock overnight). I strain the solids, then reduce the stock by about half to concentrate it, then chill it in an ice bath (see the beef stock post about how I chill it, it's QUICK).

Optional: When the bones are done roasting, pour off some of the fat into an empty stockpot, and caramelize the veggies. THEN add the bones, and water, continue as above.

Optional ingredients: Leeks make a great stock. I will also add sprigs of fresh sage, fresh rosemary, and fresh thyme if I have them, along with whole cloves of garlic. I have literally had waitstaff into the kitchen and tell me the members are demanding to know what I'm making, as they can smell it all the way out in the bar, and sometimes outside (if they're downwind of the exhaust vent)

I'm in a bit of a situation right now, as I am completely OUT of both beef and chicken stock. I never produced chicken scraps, as all summer long I've been grilling and smoking chicken. I do have some scraps that I've generated in the past week or so, as well as a small quantity of beef bones. I will be making more stock in a week or two. Heck, I might make a basic batch of vegetable stock just to tide me over.

One tip I can give is this: I made chicken rice soup last Monday. No stock, and RAW chicken. I poached my leg-and-thigh quarters until done, then cooled them in the fridge. I did keep the broth at a simmer, as I planned on using it for the soup, but had several hours to go before cooking (no "hot box" at home). When the chicken was cool, I pulled it off the bones. Bones went into a ziplock (scraps for the next batch of stock), and the SKIN went into a different bowl. The meat was rough-cut and place in another bowl. I started the soup off by rendering the fat from the chicken skin. This gives me fat to saute the veggies in, as well as imparting a "browned chicken" flavor to the soup. When the skin had rendered, the "cracklins" were reserved for another use, the "fond" was left in the pan, along with some of the fat. Veggies and seasonings went into the pan, and were sauteed over high heat until they just started to caramelize. Chicken broth and meat was added, brought to a boil, and simmered for about 30 minutes. The remaining chicken broth was used to cook the rice in. I leave the rice separate from the soup itself, as there WILL be leftovers, and I prefer to keep them separate, so the rice doesn't get all soggy overnight.

If you all haven't noticed by now, I usually caramelize EVERYTHING. I like how it deepens the flavor. Plus, when you're making a soup and just add raw meat to the liquid, it will get cloudy as the serum albumen from the blood gets cooked.
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Old 10-02-2008, 11:36 AM   #31
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Short ribs aren't ever ready to eat in 1 1/2 hours, imho!
Yeah...you should have busted out the pressure cooker for those. lol
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Old 10-02-2008, 11:56 AM   #32
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Thanks for the loooong post, Allen. I know it took a lot of your time. I am going to bookmark this thread and the one you mentioned and go over them again for my next attempt.
And boy, you sure know how to use up a chicken!

So here's what I came up with.
After about another hour I figured the short ribs were done enough to be pulled and shredded. I kept looking at my food processor disaster simmering away and decided to pull out my stick blender and make that veggie slaw mixture disappear. That worked very well. And I had no idea that the stick blender would create a whirlpool like it did when it touched the bottom of the pot. Wow. Lots of power there.
Then I chopped up some more carrots and celery and added them along with the barley and shredded beef. I had a bowl and went to bed, not really decided on if it was great, or just good.

I just heated another bowl for lunch (no danish, Allen ) after skimming most of the top layer of congealed fat off. I'm "assuming" that was OK to skim off and not where all the flavor lie...... because it was still pretty tasty. Very beefy, but it tasted like it was missing something... maybe not enough thyme or parsley (all I had was dry), but I could taste a little flavor from the bay leaves, so that wasn't it. It tasted like it needed something "green". Ahhh, maybe more onion? I think that's the taste I am missing. Still, if I had to do it all over the exact same way, I would. I would just start making it a lot earlier in the day
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Old 10-02-2008, 11:58 AM   #33
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Yeah...you should have busted out the pressure cooker for those. lol
Smart a....
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Old 10-02-2008, 12:48 PM   #34
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you know .....if a dish seems like it's missing flavor try adding some garlic powder.......that usually spruces it up a bit.........if it's a sweet dish then add some vanilla........if you burn a dish add coca cola esp. if the recipe is tomato based........no kidding........
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Old 10-02-2008, 12:56 PM   #35
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Smart a....
LOL! You know my sense of humor.

That soup/stew looks good to me though.
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Old 10-02-2008, 02:11 PM   #36
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Lots of great posts here,
The only thing that I can contribute, is to try to buy at least some of your meat products "bone in". First, it's usually cheaper and it really not that hard to de-bone with some basic knife skills when you get home. I always have at least three freezer bags in the freezer for meat, poultry and seafood bones. When a bag gets filled, I make a small batch of stock.
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Old 10-02-2008, 02:15 PM   #37
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Lots of great posts here,
The only thing that I can contribute, is to try to buy at least some of your meat products "bone in". First, it's usually cheaper and it really not that hard to de-bone with some basic knife skills when you get home. I always have at least three freezer bags in the freezer for meat, poultry and seafood bones. When a bag gets filled, I make a small batch of stock.
I really need to start doing that with the bones. What do you keep them in, just a freezer bag?
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Old 10-02-2008, 02:49 PM   #38
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John, after reading Allen's post I realized that I need to start doing that. Or rather, tell the butcher I buy quarters from that I want the bones for soup. Start saving chicken carcasses, too. I need a bigger freezer...
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Old 10-02-2008, 04:18 PM   #39
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I really need to start doing that with the bones. What do you keep them in, just a freezer bag?
Yeah Jeeks, Just a simple freezer bag. It really doesn't take me long to fill them up. I just try to remove as much air as possible to help reduce freezer burn. They really aren't in the freezer very long though as I like to use stock in place of water for lots of things besides soup. It's great for cooking rice, potatoes, veg, ect....
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Old 10-02-2008, 04:24 PM   #40
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John, after reading Allen's post I realized that I need to start doing that. Or rather, tell the butcher I buy quarters from that I want the bones for soup. Start saving chicken carcasses, too. I need a bigger freezer...
That's a good idea pacanis,
What the heck, when you buy a quarter of beef you pay for the whole thing. You may as well keep the bones also.
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