Saturday, January 31, 2015

Gruel Justice

Remember the time they shot the mass murderer on our roof?

He's going to jail for life.  Nine times over.

I know they have real food in prison, but for some reason, I'm picturing him piteously holding up his bowl, begging for gruel.

Of course, he's a psychopath, not an adorable British orphan, so the resulting institutional outrage will be completely justified.  Beg away, Mr. Stuff-your-roomates-in-the-garbage.

No more for you.

I, on the other hand, will be having a lot more of this in my bowl.

Restorative mineral broth | Cheesy Pennies

It's my take on Joy the Baker's version of the made-famous-by-Kobe-Bryant miracle broth.  Now that I'm crawling back onto the eating right bandwagon, having a steaming mug of this in the afternoons has been all kinds of comforting.

Almost as comforting as finally seeing justice done.*

Restorative Mineral Broth

by Sharon Graves
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours, or overnight
I find this recipe to be endlessly flexible, so use what you like in terms of veggies.  It is supremely relaxing to drink. I add nothing back, just have it straight up. In the late afternoon when I am beginning to crave something bad for me, a mugful is rich, satisfying, and keeps me on the straight and narrow.

  • 4 large unpeeled carrots, cut into thirds
  • 1 unpeeled yellow onion, cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 bunch celery, including the leaves, cut into chunks
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, cut into quarters
  • 2 unpeeled red potatoes, quartered
  • 1 unpeeled sweet potato, quartered
  • 4 unpeeled garlic cloves, halved
  • 1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 or 2 pieces of dried seaweed (I used a couple from the Trader Joe's seaweed snacks)
  • 8 whole black peppercorns
  • 4 whole allspice of juniper berries
  • 2 bay leaves
  • generous splash of apple cider vinegar
  • About a pound of bones from an organic chicken, or several fresh chicken pieces, browned (see recipe)
  • Enough cold filtered water to cover up everything in the pot
  • sea salt, to taste

Rinse all of the vegetables well.

If you don't have a leftover chicken carcass and are using fresh chicken pieces, brown them, skin side down, in a large skillet over medium high heat for 10 minutes, until skin is golden brown and can be removed easily. Transfer chicken to a plate, and remove and discard the skin.  If you are using the chicken carcass, break it down into smaller pieces so it will fit better into the soup pot.

Place the carrots, onions, celery, fennel, potato, sweet potato, garlic, parsley, seaweed, peppercorns, allspice or juniper, bay leaves, vinegar, and chicken pieces into a very large stock pot.

Fill the pot with water to cover the vegetables and chicken, leaving about an inch or two of space between the water and the top of the pot.

Bring the soup to a simmer over medium heat. Skim off any foam that bubbles up.

While the soup is heating up, preheat your oven to 275.

Cover the pot, and put the soup in the oven. Cook for 6-8 hours, until everything, including the chicken bones, is soft and falling apart. I tend to make this soup just before I go to bed, and leave it in the oven overnight. Alternatively, you can make this soup from the beginning in slow cooker in the morning, and leave it in on low all day.

Strain the broth through a large, mesh sieve, then stir in the salt to taste. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. Before reheating, you can remove any fat that appears at the top when the broth is in the fridge. The broth will keep in the fridge for up to four days, and freezes beautifully.

Restorative Mineral Broth | Cheesy Pennies

* Five days to convict, though? And the guy was representing himself? I swear, if I wasn't being good these days, there might be something a lot stronger in my mug.

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