Sunday, October 29, 2006

Jer: Beef Stock

I am a girl of value extremes. Have been all my life. I proudly pair a $10 fleece bought on a clearance rack which I boast was the “best deal” in the entire store with a $400 pair of Tod’s loafers because in my opinion they are the “best shoes” ever made. When I order I often ask the waiter what he thinks is the “best dish in the restaurant” and I’ll happily pair it with the most inexpensive glass of wine on the menu. Our Asian beef stock soup tonight was a classic rendition of this tendency. I bought the cheapest beef bones I could find in the market - huge joints with no usable meat that cost $1.85 a package then finished the soup off with overpriced morels because they really are the best at soaking up homemade anything. My noodles were from Trader Joe’s but my leeks were grown in the Chino family field, simply the best fruit and vegetable grower I have ever patroned. Throw in some top shelf sirloin and simmer with a little ponzu, crushed star anise and juniper berries, and a dash of cinnamon then finish off with sliced semi-boiled egg whose yolk finished cooking in our broth and voila, a hearty fall meal for two that was as delicious as it was easy to make and a reminder that unless you are willing to use homemade stock, you really shouldn’t bother with serving a bowl of soup at home. Unless of course it’s Snow’s Clam Chowder, simply the best canned soup on the market.