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Good Meat, Comprehensive New Book on Sustainable Meat
Learning About & Buying Sustainably Raised Local Meat
Berkshire Maple Dinner on March 24th
You won’t believe the depth and character of this meat borscht, a hearty meal-in-one soup from my book, The Locavore Way. It’s a winter favorite in my house that continues to get better over the course of several days and freezes well, so double or even triple the recipe.
The recipe calls for chuck roast, which works well, but I use any cut from my 1⁄8 cow order, except the more tender steaks, sometimes adding the bones for flavor and then removing them at the end of the cooking time. The yogurt or sour cream topping and all the vegetables but the tomatoes are available now. And if you canned tomatoes last summer, you an add them too. Makes about 2½ quarts.
Preparation Tip: Use a food processor to shred the veggies, radically cutting down on preparation time.
3/4 pound beets
1-1/4 pounds boneless beef chuck roast (or any stewing meat), cut into bite-sized cubes*
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 quart water or beef stock, or some of each
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
3-1/2 cups shredded cabbage, any kind
2 carrots, diced or shredded
2 celery ribs, diced or shredded
2 small or 1 large onion,chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 to 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1½ to 2 tablespoons
2 to 3 cloves garlic,minced
Generous salt and
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
Yogurt, sour cream or crème fraiche (optional)
Chopped fresh dill (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Wrap the beets in foil, and roast them until they are easily pierced with a fork, about 1-1-1/4 hours. Set the beets aside until they are cool enough to handle. Removing any remaining stems. Slip off and discard their skins, peeling any that stick. Dice the beets by hand or grate them in the food processor. Reserve.
2. Meanwhile, toss the meat in a bowl with a little flour until lightly coated. Remove the meat, leaving most of the flour
behind. In a large pot, brown the meat in one layer in the oil over medium-high heat, shaking the pan and turning the meat as it browns. (Do it in two batches if necessary.) Don’t worry if some sticks or if the meat doesn’t brown evenly.
3. Add the water and/or broth and tomatoes, and simmer gently until the meat is almost tender, about 1 hour or more. (Taste it!)
4. Add the vegetables, including the beets, and tomato paste. Simmer gently for another 30 minutes or until the meat is very tender. (If necessary, add extra water or stock to reach the texture of a thick soup.)
6. Season with the vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and sugar, if using. Simmer for 15 minutes. Serve with toppings if you like.
*If you use meat with bones, double the weight.
Local Food News
Check out Good Meat, a terrific book by fellow New Englander Deborah Krasner with a foreward by Senator Bernie Sanders. It’s a comprehensive reference book for the serious cook about sourcing and cooking sustainable meat, covering beef, lamb,pork, rabbit, poultry eggs and even side dishes. Recipes range from classic crowd pleasers like Hoisin Spareribs to out-of-the-box dishes like Kim Chi Soup with Fried Pork Belly.
Click here for another recipe using grass fed beef and lots more on sustainably raised meat.
Celebrate sugaring! Berkshire Maple Dinner Coming Soon on March 24th. Link here.