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    Fire Cider Blog — Soups/Stock

    Dana's Pork or Chicken Stock Recipe

    The secret to amazing pork stock? The answer is trotters, aka pigs feet! The same goes for chicken stock: it's best with chicken feet. Now don't get all ewwww about it, the feet are perfectly clean. You eat animals, they have feet, it's really not a big deal. When we kill animals for food we should use every bit, nose to tail, because all those bits in between are full of health building essentials!

    The reasons this specific part of the animal is so great for making stock are threefold:

    1. Trotters especially are known for their gelatin, so when you simmer them for hours, they make a naturally thick, deeply flavorful stock that is soothing to the digestive system, full of cartilage-repairing collagen and deep immune support.
    2. They are cheap and plentiful. For every hog that's butchered, there go 4 more trotters. Your local butcher or farmer can hook you up with feet for cheap, just ask!
    3. Waste not, want not: chicken feet and trotters can certainly be deep fried into one of the best bar snacks you'll ever eat, but I'd argue that making stock from the bones and feet of an animal is the best and easiest way to use them.  And you'll be sure you are making the most out of the food you raise or buy.

    Bone Broth or Stock is relatively easy to make in large amounts; it just takes some time. I eat a bowl of broth a day during the winter months, dressing it up with a shot of Fire Cider, kelp, mushrooms and chickpea miso. Or making traditional chicken soup. You can also add frozen cubes of stock concentrate to all kinds of recipes to add deep nutrition and lots of flavor. I recommend a bowl a day to stay warm and healthy til spring.

    Here's the basic recipe and method my husband Dana uses:

    Simple whole foods waiting to be transformed into liquid gold!

    Simple whole foods waiting to be transformed into liquid gold!

     

    Ingredients for 2 ½ quarts Chicken/Turkey/Pork Stock:
    • 5 pounds assorted organic, local farm raised chicken parts (2-3 pounds of feet plus backs, necks, legs, and wings), rinsed. For pork stock, use the bones from your last roast, plus several trotters
    • handful dried shiitake mushrooms
    • 1 medium carrot, chopped into 2-inch lengths
    • 2 celery stalks, chopped into 2-inch lengths
    • 2 medium leeks or one onion, chopped into 2-inch chunks
    • 1 dried bay leaf
    • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
    • 1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, or 1-2 cups wine/hard cider
    Optional, but highly recommended for the ultimate, health-enhancing stock, add:
    • 2-4 tongue-depressor sized pieces Astragalus root (available from mountainroseherbs.com)
    • Small handful dried Reishi and/or Maitake mushroom
    • 1-2 ginseng roots
    Method:

    Place all of the ingredients in a stockpot large enough to hold them with about 3 inches of room above (an 8-quart pot should do) and add enough water to cover by at least 1 inch (about 3 quarts).

    Heat until bubbling, then reduce heat to a bare simmer (bubbles should just gently break the surface). A slow cooker works well for this, if you have one. Simmer for 8-48 hours. I think the longer the better.

    Pass stock through a sieve into another bowl or pot; line the sieve with cheesecloth if you want clearer stock. I never bother. Discard the solids. I recommend composting them, or feed to your chickens.

    You can use the stock for soup right now, yummmm!

    If you are planning to store it without reducing it, stick it in the fridge or freezer. The fat will rise to the top as it cools, and you can remove it, or leave it in. You can also boil the stock uncovered and reduce it by as much as 90%. This makes for easier storage of large amounts of stock concentrate.

    Note: I use ice cube trays to freeze cooled stock. Then I keep the cubes in a container in the freezer for use whenever I need. It’s easy to make a cup of hot broth by adding cubes to a mug with boiling water or throw a bunch into soups. Sometimes I sauté greens until almost done, then add a cube of stock to finish for extra flavor and health benefits.

    Hot n Sour Soup


    The perfect meal to warm you up on this snowy March day!

    The perfect meal to warm you up on this snowy March day!

    This recipe is by Jim Huebner: My favorite Chinese dish. This is a slightly simplified version in that I only use shiitakes instead of a mixture of shiitakes and tree ears. I also omit the traditional bamboo shoots and tiger lily stems for simplicity– and I don’t think the taste suffers a bit since it is based primarily on pepper and vinegar! This is a filling dish with a lot of flavor. 

    Hot n Sour Soup
    Generous for two as a main course and should easily serve four. The recipe can be doubled or expanded.

    Ingredients:
    • 5-10 dried shiitakes
    • ¼ pound or more of boneless pork (or chicken, or omit for a vegetarian soup)
    • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
    • 2 tablespoons tamari, divided, plus more to taste
    • 4 cups chicken (or vegetable or mushroom) stock and/or the mushroom soaking liquid
    • salt, to taste
    • 2 tablespoons Fire Cider, or more to taste
    • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, dissolved in water
    • a half package of firm tofu, cut into ¼” x ¼” strips
    • 2 tablespoons sesame oil 
    • teaspoon of white pepper
    • 2 eggs, well-beaten
    • chopped chives or scallions
    • ground coriander seeds
    Method:

    Place the shiitakes (aka black mushrooms) in very hot or boiling water and set aside for a ½ hour or more. Take the mushrooms from the liquid, remove the stems if you have not already done so and slice into bite-sized pieces; reserve the soaking liquid.

    Slice the pork or chicken (if using) into matchstick-size pieces (easier if partially frozen); stir-fry in the cooking oil in a deep pot large enough for the finished soup until browned.

    Add 1 tablespoon of the tamari. Add the sliced mushrooms and stir-fry until starting to brown; add the other tablespoon of tamari.

    Then add the chicken (or vegetable or mushroom) stock and/or the mushroom soaking liquid and bring to a simmer. Salt and/or add additional tamari to taste.

    Add the Fire Cider; then blend in the dissolved cornstarch mixture. 

    When the broth has thickened, add the tofu strips.

    Add the sesame oil and white pepper. Adjust seasonings to taste.

    Turn off the heat and slowly add the beaten eggs into the broth while stirring, so that shreds, rather than clumps of egg form. Cover and let sit for a few minutes.

    Serve with chopped chives or scallions and a sprinkling of ground coriander seeds.

     

    Variations: 
    If you want to use tree ears and Tiger Lily stems, soak them along with the shiitakes and slice/shred them before browning; use fewer shiitakes. If using bamboo shoots, brown them along with the mushrooms.

    Leek Soup Spiced up with Fire Cider

    “If you're afraid of butter, use cream.” ― Julia Child

    This recipe by Jim Huebner is perfect for the snow day we are having!

    Ingredients:
    • 5 -7 cups leeks, tops trimmed down to pale green, roots removed, sliced into thin half moons
    • 6 carrots, peeled if necessary, and chopped
    • ¼ cup of pasture butter (you can, as Julia suggests, also add cream to the finished soup)
    • 2-4 cups organic chicken stock or mushroom broth
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • a dose of Fire Cider

    Leeks from our garden!

    Leeks from our garden!

    Method:

    First, sweat the leeks in the butter with a generous sprinkling of salt in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Cook the sliced leeks over medium-low heat until they are soft, wilted and starting to brown a bit.

    Add the broth. Start with 2 cups; if it looks too thick, add more. Then add the chopped carrots and cook the soup until the carrots are soft. Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender. Add salt, pepper and Fire Cider to taste.

    Optional:

    Add a dollop of cream to each bowl as you serve, for a filling and decadent meal.