Monday 24 October 2011

Stocking up for winter – part 2 Beef

Grass-fed cows

Red meat - especially beef - still carries the stigma of being the cause of heart diseases and other illnesses due to its cholesterol. But it is not the cholesterol in beef that is a problem; it’s the quantity eaten by people. The reality is that we need cholesterol! It is vital for the production of hormones, for the function of the nervous system and the integrity of our digestive system. Vitamin D, sex hormones (oestrogen and testosterone), steroid hormones (we need them to deal with stress), and bile salts/enzymes to break down fats - they are all made from cholesterol.

Cholesterol is an important ingredient for repairing the body. When the arteries in our body are weak and develop fissures, cholesterol is used to repair them. Cholesterol is needed by the cells for their structural integrity. It also acts as an antioxidant.

As Sally Fallon puts it: “Blaming heart disease on cholesterol is like blaming a fire on the firemen who arrives to put out the flames”.

So, back to the beef stock. I make it in a very similar way to chicken stock. I leave mine to reduce a lot, so I can make it into concentrate ice cubes. 

As I mentioned in a previous post, the stocks and soups we buy in shops are never the best option, as they can be laden with MSG, and artificial flavours. Not even the organic ones are a match for homemade stock. It contains natural gelatin which helps digestion, protects against gastrointestinal illness and assists with the healing of intestinal disorders such as Crohn’s disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, colitis and others.

The ingredients
brown the meat in the oven for 25 min
add the vegetables and spices and bring it to boil,
turn the heat down and let it simmer...
...for 6 hours or more. Let it cool.
Take the meat out of the pan.
Sieve it, separate the fat, refrigerate or freeze it
in ice cubes as below

With the leftover oxtail meat, I made an oxtail pasta sauce
and had it with my friend Janaina who came over to
discuss projects.

Beef stock


800g-1kg of oxtail or any knuckle, marrow or foot bones from grass-fed cows*
2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and halved
3 garlic cloves
1 celery stick, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or any white vinegar
parsley sprigs
thyme sprigs
2 bay leaf
½ teaspoon black peppercorns

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
Roast the oxtails for 25 minutes, until thoroughly browned, turning once.
Put the roasted bones and cover them with cold filtered water in a large stainless steel pan. Bring to the boil.

Deglaze the roasting pan with a little water, scraping with a wooden spoon. Add this liquid to the pan. When the stock comes to a full boil, skim off any foam that rises to the top.

Add the carrots, onions, celery, parsley, thyme, bay, peppercorns, and, if you wish, salt. Use salt cautiously if you intend to make a reduction later, as it becomes saltier as it reduces.

Turn the heat to low and simmer very slowly for 6 hours or more. Sieve it. Allow the stock to cool completely; remove fat from the surface (you can keep it to use for cooking later) and refrigerate/freeze.

The stock is ready to use as it is, or it may be reduced further to create a glaze or sauce.

Store the stock in the refrigerator for 5 days and freeze the rest, if you are not planning to use it within 5 days or so.

Stock that is left for longer than a week in the refrigerator can be reboiled and safely used.

*You can make buffalo, lamb or venison stock in the same way as beef.

Nutritional benefits

Red meat: is a great source of complete protein. Beef contains taurine and carnitine, which is needed for healthy eyes and a healthy heart. It contains CoQ10 which is essential for our overall cardiovascular health. Beef provides excellent minerals like magnesium and zinc, and vitamins like B6 and B12 which are vital for a healthy nervous system and production of red blood cells. The meat will provide vitamin A and D, which are essential for protein utilisation and mineral absorption by the body. From the animal’s bones used for the stock, you get plenty of calcium, and the components of cartilage give you healthy cartilage and bones. 

Till next week!

1 comment

  1. Queridinha, não só você escreve super bem, as informações sobre nutrição são muito importantes. Adoro "ox-tail' e seguirei a sua receita! Estou adorando ler o seu blog. Beijos. Ana


© Margot's Kitchen | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig