Sunday, November 25, 2007
Today (Sunday) is the day designated to make pork bone broth. Why do I want this? It's the base for homemade tomato soup, at least in this household and all of my siblings' households, and my mom's of course.
I have no idea where the recipe came from. I do know it was a way for my mom to stretch the dollars when we were growing up. Back then, they gave away the pork neckbones for free. My mom would first cut off all the meat she could and set it aside for Chinese chop suey (NOT my favorite dish).
The bones would be boiled first for a little while to get all the gunk off. I usually do it for about 15 minutes, which likely is not long enough, but quite a bit of gunk comes off. Then you have to rinse/scrub the bones to get even more gunk off.
The clean bones go into a clean pot with boiling water to just cover the bones. A couple onions and some peppercorns get thrown in, and you set it to a rolling simmer for at least 3 hours, though all day is better.
When 'done', the broth goes into the jars boiling hot so they seal when they cool. I use leftover Classico spaghetti sauce jars, and reuse the lids, and they work well. You have to leave the jars out in room temperature for a while, else they'd explode in the fridge. It's great to hear the 'pop' of the lids sealing as it cools.
You know you have good broth when you take a jar out later in the week, and it's like jello. You throw away the grease/fat at the top, and dump the jello into a pan. Heat to boiling and throw in soup pasta (orzo, ditalini, balls, alphabets, etc.) and cook until done. Take off the heat and add a small can of tomato sauce, and evaporated milk to taste. As well as salt and pepper to taste.
Yes, it's labor intensive, but well worth it. It's a great comfort food, and easy to make once you have the broth. When I was little I went over a friend's house and they served tomato soup (from a can) and I remember asking where the macaroni was. And there's no comparison in the flavor too... I can't wait to make some this week.