Weekend Cooking-YaYa’s Beef Soup & Porchetta

Italian Beef Soup Night-Beautiful Winter Flowers

Winter flowers from the herb path watching over simmering beef soup in the Ninja

“Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread and pumpkin pie.”
Jim Davis

Italian Beef Soup 2

Yesterday homemade beef soup for lunch and a few dinners in the future simmered in the Ninja cooker, while I slaved over a big fat butterflied herb and garlic seasoned pork butt and went back and forth to the primo grill in very chilly weather for 6 hours to be sure the grill temperature stayed at 325°.   The soup perfect for 30°weather today and later in the week and Porchetta, (Italian comfort food) destined for great pork sandwiches on crusty bread adorned with tender sautéed rapini and hot pork sandwiches with gravy.

Italian-Style Beef Soup

Porchetta3

Beautiful red smoke ring on the Porchetta

Porchertta Sliced Thin

We munched on tasty crispy roasted pork ends with little slices of Italian bread last night as well as a last-minute stuffing completely forgetting about the cauliflower-parsnip gratinee that needed to be baked, oh well we’ll have that tonight with sandwiches.

Sausage Stuffing 2

It was a porky kind of night since the stuffing had some of my freshly made sausage in it and I was using up what was left from Filone loaf.

YaYa’s Beef Soup

1-5 pound beef or bison chuck roast bone-bone in dusted with flour, salt and pepper.  Sear in hot Dutch oven until browned on both sides, I used the Ninja cooker high stove-top setting.  Toss in the vegetables and herbs while the second side of the beef is browning, deglaze with wine, stir the pot for a minute or so to reduced the wine a bit, add in all of the tomatoes, herbs and gently season with salt and pepper.   Simmer or slow cook for about 4 hours.  Remove meat from the soup and shred or chop then add it back to the pot and slow cook for another 2 hours, checking the broth level and adding more if necessary.

When soup is done you can choose to cook up a pot of tubetti, acine de pepe to add to each bowl of hot soup or try cooked barley.  Another option, some frozen mixed vegetables.  I love a good grating of Romano and Parmesan over the hot soup…a pinch of red pepper flakes for me.

3/4 can diced Italian tomatoes or 6 medium dice fresh tomatoes
splash of red wine
18-21 cups hearty beef stock homemade or store-bought (I made mine some months ago and stashed in the freezer in quart containers)
1 large onion, quartered
3 cloves garlic minced
3 ribs of clean celery, 2 diced and 1 broken into 3 pieces ( I just like to float one in the simmering soup)
3-large carrots medium diced
2 small bay leaves
a hand full of chopped fresh parsley
3 small sprigs of thyme
*a pinch of Italian sausage seasoning or fennel spice rub
Salt and pepper to taste

One version of fennel spice rub:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/michael-chiarello/fennel-spice-rub-recipe.html