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Sep 25, 2006 09:48 PM

Anyone Make Marcella's Meat Broth?

I have been cooking from Marcella's books for a very long time and always gotten great results.

The one thing I've never tried, though, is her basic meat broth. Instead, I've always used homemade chicken broth or stock. With all of the people cooking from Marcella's recipes this month, I wonder if anyone's prepared this broth.

Some ingredients, such as potato, are very unusual to me in a recipe for broth. Potatoes always seem to disintegrate and cloud broths, and I've never found them to add much flavor to broths unless they were the main ingredient that is later pureed with the broth, as in potato-leek soup.

On the other hand, Marcella has a way of always being right. So, if someone's tried this broth and recommends taking the time to make it, I am willing to give it a try.

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  1. I make her beef broth regularly. The potato adds body to the broth, and there's not enough of it to cause any problems with cloudiness. I've never tried it without it, so I can't say how much of a difference it makes, but as you say, Marcella usually seems to hit upon these magic combinations of foods. There are so many times I've read one of her recipes and thought, "How is this going to have any taste? There's nothing here!", but if I do it exactly as she says, it comes out amazing. I've never had a miss using one of her recipes.

    Her beef broth is *completely* different from using chicken stock in recipes. After you have it around, you'll wonder how you lived without it. Seriously, it's a joy to use. I always have both chicken stock and beef broth in the freezer. The beef broth makes amazing soups, by the way. I also throw an ice cube or two of beef broth in pot roasts and things like that.

    By the way, the resulting meat left from making the broth is really wonderful. And when there are leftovers, I use it to make the cold beef salad, from one of her last two books, but I've forgotten which one at the moment. That beef salad is, as they say, to die for, and justifies the time involved, even without the benefit of the broth!

    Hope this helps!

    1 Reply
    1. re: bdumes

      Thanks, that is extremely helpful. You've answered a question that's been on my mind for so long, and I am now looking forward to trying this.

    2. Marcella's meat broth is in a class by itself. More interesting than chicken, better than plain beef, it adds incomparable flavor to any of her dishes. I can't imagine making her minstrone without it. I always end up eating the potato and beef bits as soon as they are cool enough to handle!

      Has anyone tried making this in a pressure cooker? I'm curious to know how that would affect flavor.

      1. I had made risotto many times with quality store bought broth/stock as well homemade stock. Then I made it with Marcella's homemade broth. I will never go back.

        1. I've been making that broth for so long I forgot the original recipe included a potato.

          That's her eccentricity. In Italy, when I'd get a bunch of bones from the butcher, they'd throw in the "odori" (seasonings for the broth), which included a carrot, a celery rib, and herbs.

          1. Can someone please supply the ingredients for Marcella's beef broth. TIA.