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  • Jolly

Broth: Beef, Chicken, Vegetable, Fish

To my amazement not everybody makes fresh broth at home. This is a pity, it's fantastic on a cold evening, it can be frozen and can be used for a huge variety of recipes. Here I'll capture my versions for these four types.

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The basics are the same for all types: once the ingredients are cleaned and in the pot (fill at least half of your pot with the ingredients), add enough water to cover them all plus an additional 3 inches of water. Bring to the boil from cold and once bubbling merrily bring down the temperature to a low simmer - cover with a tight fitting lid (after 5 mins check to see it's on a low simmer, otherwise reduce the temperature)

Let the broth cook for 1 hour, then uncover it, bring it back up to a good simmer and let it cook for a further hour (it depends on how much broth you want at the end of it all).

Strain the broth when it's still warm through a fine sieve and into a clean pot: check for quantity and colour. If needed, reduce it further on the hob until you get the desired quantity or the right colour intensity.

TIP: dice the vegetables, the flavour will come out from all sides so if you leave them whole you will get a less flavoursome broth!

TIP: nothing of course stops you from blizzing it without straining it with an immersion mixer to get a nice soup instead of the broth of course.

Beef broth:

Carrots, celery, white/blond onion, garlic, a good bit of beef - cheap beef pieces will do. Herbs: bayleaf, thyme and rosemary. Don't forget to add also whole peppercorns and salt

Keep in mind that if you want instead to obtain a nice cut of beef to eat with your favourite horseradish sauce etc, you can get a nice piece of beef at this point of course and leave it whole :-)

Beef will release some grease and a froth from its protein content, so in this broth make sure you strain it only when it has reached room temperature (i.e. don't strain it when it's still warm) and you'll eliminate both grease and froth easily from your broth.

Chicken broth:

Carrots, celery, white/blond onion, a good bit of chicken pieces (better if raw) and you can also add bones from a roast but in that case take out the greasy bits.

Herbs: bayleaf, parsley, sage and rosemary. Also your whole peppercorns and salt.

Keep in mind that if you want to eat the chicken, you should use a whole chicken breast or leg, and in that case take the chicken out of the simmering pot after 50 mins otherwise it will become too stringy, you can leave the broth to cook per the basic recipe withouth the chicken in it at that point.

Vegetable broth:

Carrots, celery, white/blond onion.

Herbs: bayleaf, parsley, sage and rosemary. Also your whole peppercorns and salt.

Tuscany variation: add garlic to this vegetable broth, and a tin of chopped tomatoes.

Fish broth:

This broth is essential when making chowder or making a fish risotto such as a fishrisotto for example (the usual: squid, seabass, sword fish, etc).

Carrots, celery, white/blond onion, garlic. White fish, including heads, skin and bones - avoid oily fish.

Herbs: parsley, white pepper and salt.

There is no way you can eat the fish out of this broth, so buy cheap white fish.

Finally: don't use red onions in broths, they are sweeter and will weaken the flavours. Red onions are fabulous in salad, sauces or caramelized on their own, just not in broths (or in soffritto for that matter).

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