Meat broth ( Brodo di carne)

Meat broth is often used to cook risotto, to give flavour to roasts and dishes: I don't know if it is usually served as a soup abroad but it's how we mainly eat it in Italy.

If you use it for cooking no one will blame if you use canned broth (better the pownder one than the cubes, less chemical things in the first) but if you want to serve it with pasta (tortellini, angel hair or other tiny shapes) you have to prepare a good homemade meat broth.

It's easier than you can think: the longest part is the cooking but you don't need to take a lot of care of it while it's boiling...

You need ( I found the conversion in gallons and pounds, sooner or later I'll change even the meaures of the ingredients of past recipes):

a large stockpot

a gallon of water (more or less)

2 lb. of meat ( beef with a little fat, bones, hen) in big pieces

1 whole onion

2 whole carrots

2 celery sticks

1 whole tomato

1 tablespoon salt

You can add:

a little bunch of parsley

nutmeg freshly grated

2-3 cloves

To be honest I don't use these ingredients because they give broth a too spicy flavour that not always fits what I put in it.

Place the meat in the pot, add tomato, onion, carrots and celery then fill with water.

Add salt and bring the water to a boil.

Cook untill the meat is tender, for 2 lb. of meat you probably have to wait 2-2 1/2 hours, let it gently boil, not too strong or the water will evaporate too soon and too much.

When the meat is ready remove it from the pot (don't throw it, it can be eaten or used in other recipes: the meat from the broth boiling it's called "lesso").

Filter the broth through a fine strainer to clarify it and remove all the small particles. Let the broth cool at room temperature.

When the broth will be cold, the fat will solidify on the surface.

Remove most of the fat with a spoon, how much dipends on you: some people here love fat bubbles in the hot broth, my husband does, I don't (can you imagine the battle when I prepare it?^^ "Leave fat!", "No, it's too much!" and so on...).

Now the broth is ready: just cook in it what you prefer, if you don't use within two days you can preserve it in a bottle in your freezer on into ice forms if you need small portions.

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