How to make, Italian Beef Broth, with a Recipe to make Giant Yorkshire Pudding
Traditional Italian Beef Broth
Hello and welcome, there are nice cold beers in the fridge, so find somewhere to sit and enjoy this cooking adventure. I have a friend here with me, his name is Fabio. we like to cook and experiment with food, we also are mad about eating good home baked and cooked food.
My friend Fabio has just returned from a short break with one of his uncles who moved from their family home in Tuscany to Milan over thirty years ago. His uncle used to work in a factory, but about 25 years ago he decided to open a confectioner’s shop, and now his main customers are some of his old work mates from the factory.He makes over fifty types of bread and bakes twice a day once about 5am and again at about 5pm; this is so people can buy his fresh bread in a morning going in to work and in an evening on their way home.
So Fabio has returned home to England with lots of new ideas for our baking nights, and I can't wait to make a start.
The first is a really satisfying old-style, down-home, broth which is made from either beef, lamb, or pork. This recipe is very much the Mediterranean meets the Pennine hills of Yorkshire, traditional Italian broth served in a large flat Yorkshire pudding.
Tuscany Traditional Food
People from Tuscany such as my friend Fabio, enjoy traditional food and they are very keen to point out the difference between foods from different regions of Italy.
Further north in Milan where his uncle now lives, traditional foods such as Osso Bucco and risottos are the mainstay of family cooking, in a city full of traditions.
The city itself is one of Europe's finest, and represents modern day Italy and yet it still manages to hang on to the old. Its wonderful Gothic cathedral Duomo di Milano takes you back in time whilst the La Scala theatre Opera house fills your senses with music. Milan is a city that truly never sleeps, its business world buzzes throughout the day, its bars, clubs, and theatres hum through the night.
- 1.5 lbs Beef, any thecut you prefer
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 1-2lbs shin bone
- 2-3 carrots, chopped
- 2-3 potatoes
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 orange, peeled, segmented
- Italian selection Basil, oregano, Thyme,
- 2 tbls Balsamic vinegar, white or black
- 2 tbls red wine vinegar, good quality
- 1 tbls sherry
Equipment you will need
You need; cast-iron pot, chopping board, sharp knives, tablespoon and teaspoon for measuring. I also always have a selection of plastic bowls ready for the vegetables after I've chopped them, this keeps your work surface clear and is much better than having everything in a pile in the middle of your work area.
My plastic bowls I've collected over the years, most of them being free, originally containing Christmas puddings, and meet puddings. Oh and don't forget your apron, this prevents the everyday dust and dirt that collects on your clothes from contaminating the food.
Italian Broth in a giant Yorkshire Pudding
This is what you do
This type of broth when cooked needs to be the constituency of thick soup. So first of all it is necessary to chop the vegetables quite finely, so that they almost melt away in the cooking.
I often watch chefs put the onions etc just into water, but I hate boiled onions. It only takes a moment to soften and lightly fry them.
Preheat your oven to gas mark five 370F-190C
For this dish, once the vegetables are chopped they all going to pan with a tablespoon of good-quality olive oil. Cook them on a low heat until the onions have gone transparent and softened.
Usually I do this in my cast-iron pan, anything that sticks to the pan can be deglazed using some wine or wine vinegar which all helps the taste along.
Place your meat into the pan keep turning it until it is brown all over. Put the bone into your cook pot, and add one and a half pints of chicken stock. Put the lid on and cook on the hob until the stock is boiling. Add your orange segments, but not the herbs, they go in twenty minutes before the end of cooking.
Now place the cook pot onto the bottom shelf of your oven for 2 hours.
Open another beer, but on your favourite CD and chat with friends.
Carefully remove from oven. Add your herbs. Replace the lid and leave ontop of the oven whilst you cook the Yorkshires. This standing time for your cook pot is very important, it allows the meat to rest and draw back some of the juices lost in the heat of cooking. It will keep on cooking just from the heat of the cook pot for at least half an hour, especially left on top of the hot oven.
Equipment you need for your Yorkshire Pudding
First you need a good mixing bowl that will hold all the ingredients and not spill as you mix.
Oven tins; you can buy proper Yorkshire pud tins, but these days there is a tendency to use muffin tins.
my grandmother used to use a roasting tin, and she would make a special one for grandad in a one pound loaf tin. Ideally though, you need a tin which is quite flat in design.
My mother's tins were completely black, fully seasoned, with their own natural nonstick coating that gave the Yorkshire's a more intense flavour. Nowadays people tend to want everything scrubbed squeaky clean, which adds nothing to the flavour.
The obvious wine to serve here is a Chianti, full bodied, and a perfect compliment to the food.
You might try a wine made from the Merlot grape which has a slightly different flavour and I think would be just as good depending on the vineyard.
Assam tea with lemon makes a good drink here, the lemon refreshes the mouth and cuts through the slightly fatty taste of the meat. Don't forget to warm the pot. An absolute must for good tea is a china tea cup, I know it goes without saying that tea only tastes right when held in wafer thin china cup.
Darjeeling is another alternative, it has much more tannin and is therefore far dryer in taste than Assam.
Ingredients for Yorkshire Pudding
plain or all purpose flour
1 good pinch
cold full cream milk
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Instructions For Making Yorkshire Puddings
- Preheat the oven 430f 230C. gas mark 7
- Place oven tins in oven with a knob of beef lard, or with a small drop of your preferred oil
- Combine eggs and milk do not whisk them,
- Add flour and salt. I always put the mix into the fridge for 30 mins so that it is as cold as possible when it goes into the oven.
- When the oven tins are smoking blue, then three-quarter fill your tins and put them straight back into the oven.
- Cook for 25-30 minutes
- Turn heat down to 350F gas mark 4 and cook for another twenty minutes.
- The pinch of sugar is the secret ingredient. It is not so much to sweeten the pudding, but to lift the flavour, commercially they call it flavour enhancement.
Yorkshire Puddings filled with Italian Goodness
As soon as the Yorkshires are ready serve them on your very best dinner plates, fill with the Italian broth. Garnish with a sprig of sweet basil, or corriander.
We loved this combination of food, the delicate flavours of the herbs and the strong batter of the Y.puddings made a really delicious meal.
Should there be any leftovers, not likely at my house, this dish will freeze perfectly and will be just as good when thawed.
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