Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Why yes I am part Irish, what gave it away?!  When I went back to my natural hair colour after years of highlighting it to within an inch of it's life, I kept passing the mirror and thinking to myself "holy crap can you see the Irish in me now!".  This was due to the reddish brown tones mother nature gave me.  I'm English-Irish and can trace my family roots back 7 generations.  We may be dull but we're consistent.  It's only in this generation that anything other than English-Irish has entered our gene pool!  How's that for dull?!  While I live in New Scotland (Nova Scotia) I have not a lick of Scottish in me.  So today is extra special as we Irish take over Nova Scotia and call today ours. 

For dinner tonight I'm making a Shepherd's Pie.  There are lots of great recipes out there so I won't bother sharing mine.  However I did want to mention the Beef Broth.  I make mine from scratch.  It's deadly simple, way taster than store bought and healthier.  I put no salt or fat in mine, making it a neutral addition to any recipe.  I can always add more fat or salt when I use it later. 

Beef Broth
Makes 8 -12 cups

  • 1-2 good size beef marrow bones
  • 1 rib celery, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 onion, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 carrot cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2-3 springs thyme (or about 2 tsp dried)
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • a good dash no salt added steak spice or Montreal steak spice
  • Cover everything with water, to about 1/2 inch from top of pot.

  1. Throw everything in a large soup pot.
  2. Bring to a boil
  3. Simmer 3-4 hours (or you can use your crock pot on high 5 -6 hours)
  4. Strain the liquid, toss out all the solids as they are tasteless now.
  5. Let cool, skip any fat off the top and freeze in 1 cup containers. 

I'll be using some of mine tonight to make the gravy/sauce base for my Shepherd's Pie.  I'll stir in some Worcestershire Sauce and a ketchup, about 1 tbsp each to add dimension to the flavour.  That will also up the sodium content so it's good to have that broth base be neutral..

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