We Love Cory’s Stewing Beef & You Will Too!
Our staff chose stewing beef as a product they love and want to share with you, our customers, this week from November 8 through November 14. Cory, who works in Valley Natural Foods’ meat department, chose to share his story of why he loves stewing beef.
For the last month, Cory is all about preparing beef bone broth using stewing meat and fresh bones. He even keeps a quart in the freezer for when he runs out and then every few weeks, he will make a new batch. Although he cannot pinpoint bone broth as the exact reason he is feeling sharper than ever these days, he does know it most likely plays a part. He admits that bone broth as part of a balanced diet, is incredibly nourishing because it helps to fend off a lot of illnesses and allergies. It is also really beneficial in the sense that it is easy for the body to digest and it contains a lot of minerals that are hard to find elsewhere. These include magnesium, zinc and sulfur to name a few, in addition to vitamin B12 and calcium from the red meat. Bone broth is also high in protein.
Cory says, “With food , health and one’s diet, I feel it is better to be proactive instead of reactive. It’s important to do it right before you have a problem.”
Cory feels part of being proactive includes not only including bone broth in one’s diet, but getting into a groove of making it from scratch. While he said it may seem time consuming to make, it is really quite easy and really rewarding too. Cory gets a lot of questions from customers about how to make it, which inspired him to share his own classic beef bone broth recipe with Valley Natural Foods customers.
As far as tips for making it, Cory offers that the main thing one has to be careful of is maintaining water levels because the water will reduce. The process starts with brining the bones in a vinegar, saltwater solution overnight to remove impurities. It is important to then remove the saltwater, rinse off the bones, and to add more water to start stewing the meat and any other stock vegetables. Cory suggests skimming the fat off the top and straining everything, discarding the bones, bits of meat, and stock vegetables. He admits the process is a bit technical but it is worth it because bone broth is such a versatile staple one can use in many dishes. One of Cory’s favorite uses of bone broth is in his scrambled eggs as it makes them moist, savory and delicious. One can also add bone broth to gravy, stir fries, and obviously any soup as a base.
“It (bone broth) adds flavor, not to mention you are boosting the nutritional content of your dish,” Cory explains. “The variety of uses are extensive and you can just drink it on its own too. There are a lot of people that do just that. That is why I like using it; I can put it in just about anything.”
If you are new to making bone broth, there are many different types of bones available and each offers diverse benefits. The meat department offers a lot of variety, including carrying four to five different kinds of neck bones, in addition to marrow and oxtail bones, according to Cory. Neck bones are dense with connective tissue as is oxtail, which contains a lot of gelatin, making them beneficial for those who do not have good joints. Marrow bones, on the other hand, do not have a gelatinous effect. Whatever the health concern is, Cory indicates that the meat department can help customers find the type of bones that would be the most beneficial. For stewing meat, he recommends buying bone-in chuck roasts, as he believes the meat and the bone should be kept together because it adds really great flavor.
“Buying bone-in is kind of the number one thing with bones. Nutritional content is great but they taste amazing when you have a nice concentrated flavor,” adds Cory.