Buffalo Bone Soup

I have been having some odd experiences.  On at least 4 occasions, people I have known for a long time, but perhaps not seen for a while have stared at me with a puzzled expression, not seeming to recognize me.  One person came up to me after a committee meeting and told me that she didn’t know who I was until I said my name in the introductions.  Now this seems strange to me, because when I look in the mirror, particularly when I am in the buff, I feel like I look exactly like I always have – pale, pink and flabby.  My face looks the same, although I have more neck, and I am still a short, somewhat plump redhead.  I know empirically that I must be different – the scale says so and my pants are too big – but unrecognizable?  It’s disquieting.

This recipe is really a variation on my mother’s soup with flanken.  Flanken are very fatty little bits of short ribs which are too fatty to use in most dishes.  I haven’t seen buffalo bones, except for T-bone and other steaks.  But this week there were buffalo ribs in the meat case along with the usual cuts.  The butcher and I agreed that these might not make good barbecue, so I decided on soup.  Really, you need bones to make a rich meat soup.

This is an imprecise recipe, because you can add a bit of whatever you want. My mother always used this soup mix as the base of her soup.  This makes a thick, porridge-like soup.


Buffalo Bone Soup

2 pounds of buffalo bones
7 cups of water
soup mix
¼ cup barley
½ of a large onion, chopped
other things to add if you like
1 cup of dried shitake mushroom (small pieces)
a carrot, chopped
a stalk of celery, chopped
chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Trim as much fat as you can off the meat – really, if they are ribs you are not going to be able to get most of the fat off.  Place in a large pot and cover with 7 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.  Remove meat from pot and set aside, pour liquid into a large container and chill overnight.  Remove from refrigerator. Great gobs of fat will have solidified on the surface of the soup. Remove them all, using a strainer if necessary.  Measure the soup liquid into a pot and add water or broth until you again have 7 cups of liquid. Add contents of the soup mix plus ¼ cup of barley, and shitake mushrooms if you are using them.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 1 ½ hours. Add onion and other vegetables if you are using them and cook for another ½ hour.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  I had intended to chop up the rib meat and add it to the soup, but even after long cooking they were too fatty. This makes about 5 servings of soup, at about 4 grams of fat/serving.  This soup went right into the freezer to take for lunches.



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I have lost 200 pounds. I did not do it through surgery – I don’t like knives and needles – or by joining a club, vigorous exercise, or rigorous dieting. I did it by gourmet cooking. To be precise, by cooking low fat, really delicious food. I love to cook as much as I love to eat. Food magazines are some of my favorite reading. I would feel deprived if I couldn’t have the sensuous experience of good food crossing my lips. This blog is about my perpetual feast, my passionate love of food, with recipes, photos, and occasional advice and principles that I have learned along the way.

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