I took my morning walks to new locations the past two weeks, one being the local upscale grocery store. An old hand at couponing, I watch the sale ads and check the clearance items carefully, which stretches my fuel budget even at upscale stores.
This week, to my delight I found one large portion of boneless beef ribs in the Manager’s Special (the day-old) section of the meat case. Soup makes coming home through the thunderstorms wonderful this week. With the package of rib meat I wandered on down the isle where I found some marrow bones.
At the checkout, I was pleased to have spent less than $5.00 on enough protein and nutrients for the family and company. As I walked my prize home between cloudbursts I thought through the contents of the refrigerator and pantry. While the deluge continued to flood parts of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, I cooked. In the end, the soup warmed us all.
Beefy Pepper Cabbage Soup
Makes 4 – 6 servings
3 – 6 large marrow bones (knuckle bones or neck bones are also fine)
1 large onion
2 large whole cracked (slightly crushed) cloves fresh garlic***
1 Tablespoons olive or canola oil
1 – 2 pounds. beef; rib meat (boneless ribs) or stew meat cut into bite sized pieces
1 teaspoon McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning blend
*** when fresh garlic isn’t available, add granulated garlic to meat.
3 peeled (or carefully scrubbed) sliced carrots
3 sliced celery ribs
1 red bell pepper – chopped
1 orange or yellow bell pepper – chopped
1 large bay leaf
2 Tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 Tablespoon chopped parsley
3 cups chopped cabbage
Place marrow bones, onion and ***fresh garlic in a large, deep saucepan or a small stock pot and cover with water. Bring to boil, then reduce to a slow simmer for approximately 2 – 3 hours (depending upon sizes of bones).
While bones simmer, cut meat and vegetables into bite-sized pieces and chop herbs finely. Refrigerate an hour or so, but take out early enough to allow everything to warm to room temperature.
Once marrow cooks from the bones and they are hollow, remove bones and garlic (garlic if preferred) and discard.
In skillet, season and sear meat pieces, stirring to brown outsides, being careful to not burn or scorch the drippings. Add meat to stock pot and let skillet cool till warm to touch. Once skillet is cooled sufficiently, pour 2 cups hot water into skillet, stir to loosen browned bits from bottom and sides. Pour liquid into stock.
Stir bay leaf, cilantro, parsley, carrots, celery (and potatoes if desired) into stock and bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat and simmer 8 – 10 minutes. Stir in peppers and cabbage.
If stock is not level with meat and vegetables add enough ** Beef flavor Better Than Bullion (or beef bullion) stock (I needed 2 more cups) to not quite cover. Bring to a strong simmer for another ten – fifteen minutes until all vegetables are just tender (you can cook longer if you like your vegetables cooked into mush ; ).
Bullion tends to be salty, so I don’t add additional salt and there’s sufficient pepper in the Montreal blend. Add additional salt to taste if you prefer.
Wonderful served with crusty rolls or toasted garlic bread.
*** OR add 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic or garlic powder to meat as it browns
** 2 teaspoons beef soup base (or bullion cubes) to 2 cups water.
* 1 large white rose, yellow gold, or red potato cubed if desired. Note: russett potatoes tend to break down in stock.