22nd September 2011
I’ve just finished a lovely wholesome bowl of bacon broth that I knocked up myself for under £4 and I have a massive pan of it left that will do me until I get sick of it. I’m also trying a bit of austerity cooking as I seem to buy a lot of fancy ingredients and never end up using them.
When I was growing up in the northeast my family were very outdoorsy and would go camping or hiking most weekends in the Cheviots, Yorkshire Moors or Dales and often up into the Scottish Borders – even in snow and blizzards because my father insisted ‘it would do us good’. My mother would make a massive pan of broth that would be siphoned off into various thermos flasks to accompany us on our adventures. There was nothing like getting to the top of a peak in the snow or howling gale and huddling down and eating the delicious hot broth – often sharing it with other hikers who only thought to bring along cold, limp sandwiches.
Anyway – here’s the recipe. It’s a bit haphazard and you can use what you like but here’s what I did:
1 Bacon joint – trimmed of fat, leave on bone (you can buy these in Tesco for about £3 in the hot deli counter).
Few handfuls of Broth Mix (split peas, lentils, dried peas, pearl barley etc)
Chicken stock cube
Salt and ground white pepper
Firstly you need to soak the broth mix overnight and rinse it thoroughly in cold water. Then continue the next day as follows.
Boil the bacon joint in a large pan of water for 30 mins, whilst this is boiling take a seperate pan of water and boil the broth mix for 30 mins, then rinse in boiling water from the kettle. Add the broth mix and stock-cube to the bacon and bring to boil. Boil for 30 mins stirring every couple of minutes then reduce heat and simmer until it’s as thick as you want it, making sure that the peas etc are cooked. Add extra water if necessary.
Serve, adding salt and pepper to season.
Best served with big wedges of white crusty bread and butter 🙂
You can also use chicken for this, in fact it’s a great way of using up a chicken that you have stripped of the breast and legs.
I bought my bacon joint ready-cooked in Tesco, it’s actually cheaper than buying a raw one and cooking it yourself. They are quite fatty but you can just trim it off. I’d actually taken off a lot of the meat and used it in sandwiches, so this really is a good way to get the most out of it.
I imagine you could just use vegetables, but imagine this would be a bit boring 🙂