Since I, like many others, were given the rotten news about having a nickel allergy and it also affecting the food, my way of life was turned upside down, put in the spinner, then flushed down the loo. Slowly I have been reclaiming foods and ways of preparing food back to a decent level. Gone are stainless steel and all the kitchen appliances. Gone are ordinary pans and the ceramic is proving to be rubbish.
Since I was unable to use the cubes or stock pots to flavour my gravy, which now tasted awful, I decided I would go back to the old tradition of boiling up the bones to make my stock for my gravy.
I have read a lot lately about the long simmering of bones, going on for many hours. Maybe that was great in the old days, but unless you know exactly where your cow, chicken, pig or lamb comes from, how they were raised and most importantly, what they ate, or were injected with, I won't be boiling mine for many hours. There could also be metals contained within the bones and I certainly don't want them to come seeping out. Just the marrow for me thanks.
Here is the stock that I make, it is pure stock and not soup mix, as there are not many vegetables or herbs that I like contained on my 'can' have list.
Put the bones in a heavy based pan, cover in filtered water and bring to the boil, skimming off the scum as it rises. If you don't remove the scum then the stock will be cloudy. Once boiled lower the heat and simmer for 2 hrs with the chicken or 4 hours with the meat. Leave a little of the lid off the pan so that it will evaporate down.
It can be kept in the fridge for a week, though it would be best to boil the stock again every 2 or 3 days. It can also be frozen for 6 months. I freeze mine in small amounts and take out just what I need instead of adding water to meat dishes or gravy.
I use this stock base for my gravy. To it I add a spoonful of Bovril from the jar, salt and pepper and thicken it with either corn starch from the corn kernels or rice flour.
So I have been posting my successes and not my failures, Tess eats my failures! In the hope that someone else can be helped build their 'CAN HAVE' list again.
So,the latest thing I got this week was a cast iron mincer/grinder. Sausages are on my mind again. With a sausage attachment and it squishes the fruit for my jam making,
I opened it to find it was all nice and shiny, "Oh no!" On searching the box I found a little sign of tin plated. On checking the internet, it doesn't contain nickel so still ok. The grinding blade and holes are cast iron so I spent a few days seasoning them as I don't want them to rust. I have to turn the handle to use it, that will help build up them muscles I seem to be acquiring.
So first is first, it was last year since I had burger, today was burger day. I bought a pound of beef mince from the proper butcher where I get my stock bones. It has to be ground again and that I can now do.
The meat has to be kept as cold as possible at all times until put into the pan. I froze my mincer/grinder for a couple of hours to make it nice and cold and had the mince in the fridge. I put the beef through my mincer again and put it back in the fridge for half an hour.
To make the burgers I put the skillett/griddle on to get it nice and hot with no cold spots and added egg, pepper and salt to the mince. The butcher says a teaspoon of salt to each pound of mince is a good amount - I used less. I put them into balls and placed to sizzle on the skillet. Then after a short time I pressed them down into my bread size shape and continued to cook them slowly. When they looked almost done, I turned them over to cook the tops and brown them off, this didn't take long.
Mmmm the burger was lovely and juicy and no clumps of grissle. Eat your heart out Tess, these two are mine! With what's left of the meat I shall be making meat balls in beef stock.
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