The Essence

Living and growing a family in the North awards you with a real and tangible connection to the land. As a mother of 5 and as a home baker and wannabe chef, it is this connection that seeps into everything - motherhood, food, harvesting, and experiencing the very heartbeat of the bit of earth that sustains us.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Isaak's Meatball Soup

There is a thing in Faro called "Friendship Feasts". A bunch of people signed up to be "meal makers" and when there is a need, like when someone passes away, or when someone has been sick or had surgery, or when someone has had a new baby, these food angels deliver supper every night for a period of time. It's awesome. Last week, Faro gained a new little resident, Isaak. This is the Meatball Soup his family got for supper tonight.

I used some moose meat from the animal I harvested on the banks of the Pelly River this past October. This young moose filled our freezer, and the meat from his neck and part of his front shoulders was ground into this beautiful, hormone free, wild red burger. We eat mostly wild meat, that we have harvested ourselves from the woods and mountains around our home, and recently have been making an effort to purchase our non - wild meat from local farms. After eating farm raised pork and chicken,there is no going back to "regular" meat. It is worth every extra penny. Knowing exactly where our food has come from has become more important.

For baking, I'm a little more precise with measuring. For cooking, though, especially for things like soup and stews, I just throw stuff in. Tomorrow I'm heading into Whitehorse, which means the fridge is looking rather bare, so I had to use what I had. You can too!

If you have time, you can roast some tomatoes. Toss them in some olive oil and sprinkle them with salt, then throw them in the oven at 250C for 6-8 hours. Yum! If you want to skip this step, you can use a can of diced or stewed tomatoes later.
Start with some ground red meat for your meatballs. If you want, add some ground pork or even lamb. These were just plain moose meat.
I just throw stuff into my meatballs, too. Three rules: onion soup mix, eggs and garlic. Other than that, add a bit of this and a bit of that! Here is what I dumped in. 

I lied. There are 4 rules. ALWAYS HAVE PANKO IN THE CUPBOARD! Add enough to make the mixture "less wet". You want your meatballs to hold together.

Mix that up and make your meatballs. Throw them onto sheets and then into the oven at 375C for about 45 minutes, or until firm and cooked through.

Now we are onto developing flavour in your broth. Today, I'm using carrots, red and yellow onion, and some moose sausage that I made in the fall with my friends. I cut open the casings and squeezed out the meat. Put a glug of oil into a big pot, and fry this up, adding a spoonful of garlic of course, and some salt and pepper. 

Ok, yes those are beef soup bones. I always have some bones or ham hocks in the freezer. They really help develop flavour in your broth. If you don't have bones or hocks, no prob, you can still forge ahead and have a great soup. You also see some beef broth (beef bouillon dissolved in water) and one of the most important ingredients (other than garlic), wine! Ubrewed by the case, you really should go do that, too.  Keep frying your base up until the bottom of your pot is covered with nice deep brown yummyness. Also, have a glass of your wine. You have lots more to spare if you have cases of it downstairs!
Pour in about half the bottle of wine (no scrimping here) and your beef broth, along with about 4 more cups of water. Scrape up all the brown yummyness off the bottom of the pot. Add some bay leaves. In our house, whoever gets the bay leaf does the dishes. I make sure to never get it.
When your meatballs are done, pull them out of the oven and eat a few with ketchup. Mmm.
Add 1 cup of rice, or some potatoes to your broth. Then add some frozen peas and corn. After letting that cook for awhile, dump in your meatballs. Pile them in there! Add more wine and beef broth and water to keep things soupy. 

Remember your roasted tomatoes? You can chop them up and throw them in, or add a can of stewed or diced tomatoes. You can add a bit of tomato sauce, too, if you like tomato. Yum.

Simmer that for another while until you can stand the aroma no longer. Then dig in! I forgot to take a final picture because I was too busy eating it, and then it was gone. The rest went to little Isaak's family (Isaak can't eat yet). Maybe I'll make if for him again when he's older - seeing as it has his name!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing Heather! I'm sure Isaaks family enjoyed!