To make this perfectly clear, I am NOT a food blogger. I enjoy and make good use of all the many food blogs and recipes sites out there, make NO mistake, but I never intended to blog about the food I make… until today.
Interested in finding out how to cook lamb shanks, I hit the internet. Tough meat, lamb shanks, I mean, this animal walked on that leg all day every single day of its life on our farm; every single day of its life. So that meant long cooking time. Many recipes I looked at called for a balsamic vinegar (which I didn’t have) or a number of other ingredients not on the list of what I was trying to clear out of my fridge.
But vinegar kept popping out at me. Vinegar helps release minerals from bone. Part of the reason for using a vinegar or wine in a braising recipe. The book “Broth and Stock, from the Nourished Kitchen” by Jennifer McGruther is an excellent resource for broth recipes. The acid in wine or vinegar helps nutrient rich bones release their minerals into the liquid stock.
So, back to my experiment… I had homemade apple cider vinegar, but it sounded so sweet. If you’ve ever thought you simply can’t stomach apple cider vinegar, make some yourself. I promise you’ll change your mind. 🙂
But I was looking for something with a little more zing, hotter, spicier, not sweet. I opened the fridge to peruse the offerings…. and there it was, beckoning. Fire Cider. Fire cider has vinegar in it! It’s hot too. Perfect.
I was fine throwing all the ingredients together. The typical broth, onions, garlic… but then I though, hey, fire cider has all that and more. So I added some chicken broth and a little pink salt for taste and didn’t put myself through the chopping block, LOL, get it? chopping block… okay, I digress.
I put the liquid over the lamb shanks and forgot about it until….
A couple of hours later when the aroma started to fill the kitchen and spilled over into the office. I panicked. You know the feeling, “if this doesn’t turn out, what will I ever do for dinner?” kind of panic? So I took a spoonful to taste. Viola! Success! And SO simple it was plain scary. I felt so good about all the work I didn’t have to do that I was energized enough to slice potatoes, grates some smokey Gouda cheese and make a wonderful au gratin to go with. I haven’t been that happy to sit down and eat a meal in some time.
Give it try and let me know if you get the same spectacular result. I’m still patting myself on the back for that one! If you have other examples of cooking with fire cider, I’d certainly be happy to hear them!
For more information on making straight up Bone Broth see 6 Tips for the Best Bone Broth: Never Open a Can of Soup Again for some most excellent tips. If it’s chicken broth your after, read Laurie’s Beautiful Broth – How to Make Homemade Chicken Broth.