Sunday, December 29, 2013

Beef Neck-bone Stew (cooked in a Dutch Oven)

For those of you that read this blog, you know that I get my beef from a local farmer. More specifically,  from Indian Creek Angus (click on the link to see their Facebook page!), based out of Carnesville. If anyone is looking for a source for pasture raised beef, theirs is wonderful!! 

In one of my orders I had a few packages of beef necks and I had NO clue what to do with them. Based on cooking stew meat, I knew enough that they should be seared and simmered in liquid on medium to low heat for several hours. 

It just so happens that my Mom got me a RED 6 qt enameled dutch oven for christmas! I knew that I wanted to christen my new pot by cooking up beef neck-bone stew and do a little kitchen experimenting :).

Unfortunately, I have no pictures of the process. But here is what I did…

I defrosted the package, which contained 3 neck bones with a good bit of meat. I seared them on a cast iron skillet (I was afraid to do the heavy searing in my new pot, but I am sure I will work up to it), then I added onions to the skillet while the neck-bones finished searing and waited until everything got good and stuck :). Then I deglazed the pan with a cup of red wine and poured all of that into dutch oven. 

Then I added rosemary, turkey broth, and some tomato paste, and let it simmer for 3 hours. Then I removed the meat from the bones, and added butternut squash and carrots. I let that simmer and finally I threw in some frozen peas and broccoli and added seasonings at the end. 

It was REALLY good. This is all we had left in the bottom of the pot as Chris and I both ate 2 bowls. Even as I am writing this post, Chris leaned over and said, "The flavor of the soup was just so good, the most memorable flavored soup I have ever had". Coming from him that is high praise indeed! He wanted to eat the rest of the pot but I told him that we needed to save it so he could eat it for lunch tomorrow :). I am so happy with how this turned out and I am so happy with my new dutch oven!

The neck-bones still had some meat and a lot of cartilage that I don't want to miss out on, so I put them in a crockpot with water and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (to get the calcium out of the bones) to simmer for the new two days. Then I will give the spent bones to our dog, who loves to gobble them up. Beef neck-bones are cheap and you can get many uses out of them. I encourage everyone to try them!

Here is the recipe :). 

Beef Neck-Bone Stew
1 lb beef neck-bones
1 onion, diced
1 cup red wine
2 TBS tomato paste
4 cups turkey/beef/chicken broth
2 sprigs rosemary
2 cups cubed butternut squash
3 carrots, sliced into rounds
½ bag frozen peas
½ bag frozen broccoli
1 tsp oregano or 1 TBS fresh oregano, chopped
Red pepper flakes

-Sear all sides of the neck-bone in a heavy bottomed pot, on medium high heat. Halfway through add diced onion and stir around. It is okay if some pieces of onion get stuck to pan. It will add lots of flavor. Once the onions are soft and the meat is seared, add 1 cup red wine to deglaze the pan, and scrape around the bottom to loosen up all the stuck on pieces. 
-Add broth, tomato paste, and rosemary sprigs, turn heat to medium low and cover. Simmer for 3 hours or until meat is tender. Remove neck-bones from pot, remove the meat from the bones (set the bones aside for making broth), chop the meat and return to the pot. Add butternut squash and carrots to pot and simmer until vegetables are tender. 
-Finally, add in frozen broccoli, peas and spices and heat just until the stew comes back to a slow simmer. Taste, and add more seasoning as needed. 
-Serve immediately. 

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