Prep. time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 6 hours
This is not the original Italian version of minestrone - it's a version devised in Gourmetpedia's kitchens. However, this is a delicious and healthful soup that concentrates all the goodness of the garden in your soup pot. The secret lies in using a very large pot and letting the soup simmer slowly over low heat until the broth has reduced by half so that it absorbs all the wonderful flavors. You may think that the recipe calls for an awfully large piece of beef, but look at the asterisk (*) and you'll see that by making the soup, you've also made the main course!
- Place the beef into a large stockpot; add the water and all the ingredients except the parmesan and let simmer for 4 to 6 hours over low heat;
- check the water level occasionally, adding more if necessary;
- correct the seasoning; add a little beef concentrate if necessary.
*What to do with the beef?
First remove the beef from the broth, remove any bones and fat and chop the meat coarsely; then you have a choice:
Return the cubed beef to the soup and serve as a main course;
if you wish to make beef pies, add 3 or 4 unsliced carrots to the stock pot; cube the beef and carrots; make the sauce by taking some broth and thickening it with cornstarch; you could also add some sliced sautéed mushrooms. Within a few minutes, the filling is ready; all that's left is to roll out your pastry, fill the pies and bake them in a moderate oven for 20 minutes.
put the beef through a grinder and use it to make a delicious shepherd's pie.
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