Spuds + Pork = Crazy Delicious
It’s soup day on the Simmer! Well it’s cold as hell so why not? Thanks to all you commenters who gave me a whole bunch of great ideas for how to use up my leftover pork pieces, I decided to give soup a chance.
Let me first say that I have never before made a successful soup. A few years ago, early on in my experimental cooking days, I tried to make potato soup and it came out brown and lumpy. I’m not even quite sure how it got that way but can you get any less appetizing than that? So needless to say, there were more than a few times throughout the planning and production of this meal that I was quite certain it was going to end up filed as a Friday Fuck Up, but through some miracle of god, cream, and bacon, it came out OK. Thus, I am allowed to post it on a Tuesday.
So I started out making a stock out of the leftover pork bone. Following all your advice, and a little online research, I soaked the bone in cold water for a couple of hours, then roasted it in the oven (I think this was a good idea because it made my house smell glorious). Then I put the bone in a saucepan with half a chopped onion and a few cloves of garlic, filled it with water, brought to a boil, and then covered and let it simmer for about three hours…
It’s my first time making stock, so I was pretty impressed with myself that I got it to taste like what I think pork stock is supposed to be. But here was my first eff-up. By the time it was tasty enough, so much had boiled off that I hardly had any stock! Only about a cup. Did I do something wrong? Maybe I didn’t have enough bone or just should have used a larger pot with more water. Oh well, it was enough to get my soup started, if not make it souper-porky.
I googled a bunch of recipes and based it primarily off this one–not all that complicated. I heated up a little butter in a saucepan, then added three quartered russet potatoes, cooked ’em down for a few, then added the stock along with some cream.
OK, time for almost-eff-up number two. After cooking stock on super-low all day, I went upstairs and kinda forgot I had to watch my food. I know, I’m a dumbass. I go downstairs ten minutes later and the soup has already spilled over all up on my stovetop. Ugh.
So after cleaning all that up and getting back to my soup, I noticed that what was left was at least pretty tasty after the spuds started to break down. But – it wasn’t nearly soupy enough, more like the creamiest mashed potatoes ever. Now, this would not be a bad thing, but after working all day, I really wanted my end result to be a freaking soup. So I ad-libbed and added some water. Is this a sin to add water halfway through? I don’t know, but it worked, so I just kept adding water and boiling ’til I had the consistency I wanted.
Then, as gansie would say, I immersion blended the shit out of that fucker. Wow! This is the first time I’ve used my handheld immersion blender (thanks, Julie!) and boy it works well. It made the soup so creamy and silky, it was just perfect.
Oh, and as you can see, it wasn’t so perfect that I didn’t have to fry up some bacon to add on top, along with some freshly ground pepper.
I’ve made a successful soup! I know, this may not look so complicated to you soup-experienced cookers, but it was tough for me, so back off!
So about your stock question: I watched Bobby Flay make roasted chicken stock once (I have no idea why I watched it, to be honest) and he roasted all these veggies and onion skins and everything and whatever with bone in, skin on chicken pieces, then boiled it all, then strained it (I don’t remember what he did with the stuff), then boiled it again until it was just about a cup or so. If I recall correctly, he said, “You’ll only get a cup or so of the stuff, but it is SO worth the effort.” F* that. I make broth and make it to a quart or so and it’s worth the effort already. I don’t need to boil it down until it’s a … whatcha call it, demi glace or some crap. Hahaha 🙂 I’m lazy too.
“But here was my first eff-up. By the time it was tasty enough, so much had boiled off that I hardly had any stock! Only about a cup. Did I do something wrong?”
Yes! That’s why you have to keep adding water as the broth gets low (refer to my first comment in your slow cooker post). Meh….I feel dirty for giving advice on how to boil little piggies bits and pieces….
damn, I should read closer, huh? next time, maids.
Know you didnt do anything wrong by adding water id rather see somebody make a propper stock and then even if a little water is needed rather than make broth which we in the professional kitchens would refer to as pork ball sweat don stress about stock always save your meat bones (cooked or uncooked) roast them (not required for chicken but still a good idea) then ad your mirpoix and any herbs you got laying around such as thyme and parsley stems youd normally throw away and then cover with water and let er go all day the result will be a rich intensely flavored stock you can use damn near any recipe if its not as rich as youd like it reduce it further thats it! so in closing dont stress about stock put it on forget about it and focus on the rest of your meal.