Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Beef broth (Rindsuppe)

Beef broth or
Rindsuppe is the most popular of Austria’s clear soups; chicken broth is a close second. We serve it with various additions, most commonly very fine soup noodles made of wheat. Other additions are pancake strips (Frittaten), semolina dumplings (pictured), liver dumpling Another great soup is the so-called bread soup. We Austrians have great breads, and when there were boiled pork ribs on the menu, we had the broth as a starter with bread leftovers, thinly sliced brown bread, bits of root vegetables and a sprinkle of freshly chopped chives. Just great!!!
and profiteroles. Also great are Tyrolean dumplings--bread dumplings with small cubes of smoked meat or bacon mixed into the dough--then boiled in water or in the broth itself.

Serves 6-8, Cooking time: About 2-3 hours

  • 1 1/2 lb beef bones and a piece of beef chuck
  • carrots, celery root, leeks, parsley root, garlic
  • 2 whole unskinned onions
  • 5 pepper corns, 2 juniper berries, 2 bay leaves
  • salt
How to cook beef broth:

1. Blanch the bones for a minute
Bring water to a boil and place bones in the boiling water. After boiling a minute or two, drain bones in colander and rinse with cold water. Now placing the bones in your soup pot, fill with fresh cold water and bring to a boil.

2. Cook gently
From now on, the broth should not cook too strongly, rather simmer. If the broth boils, it will not stay clear but will become muddy. Add a piece of beef, which not only adds flavor to your soup, but also is nice when chopped and served later with the broth.

3. Skim off scum and most of the fat
Especially at the beginning, a lot of grey scum will rise to the surface; skim it off frequently. As the cooking proceeds, less and less scum appears.

4. Adding the veggies
After about an hour cut the onions in half and sear them on the cut surface 'til it blackens. You can do this either directly on the stovetop or in a pan. Add the onions, root vegetables, herbs, but not the salt--only add salt when the broth is ready. The broth acquires a nice golden color from the onion skins.

5. Ready?
When that piece of meat is tender, the broth is golden, has a strong good aroma and the vegetables are cooked, it is ready to serve. Season with salt and maybe more ground pepper. Chop and add some of the vegetables and the meat and sprinkle with freshly chopped chives or another chopped herb.

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