This is Better than Bouillon, and oh my, it really is better!
Bouillon cubes have always struck me as sort of....gross. And way salty. And crumbly. Also, keeping vegetable and beef stock in cans takes up a bunch of room in my teeny tiny pantry (I like to make my own chicken stock...and as Charlie says, "that's coming in way hot" tomorrow night after I make a roasted chicken for dinner. It's so easy and SO healthy!).
I had never heard of this stuff until one of my dearest, wonderful friends told me about it along with her fabulous recipe for minestrone soup. She uses the vegetable version of Better than Bouillon in this recipe, and it really does make all the difference in flavor. Imagine my joy when I discovered that this little jar of happiness comes in beef, chicken, and vegetarian, mushroom, chili, lobster, clam, ham, and turkey, as well as organic and low-salt options.
When I use it, I prefer to scoop it with a spoon out of the jar, and pour boiling water over the spoon into a 2 cup measuring cup, that way I can watch how much I have, and the boiling water melts the goop off of the spoon (otherwise, it's sort of difficult to get off the spoon!).
I thought about posting this tonight, since I used it in this evening's dinner and I was thinking about Better-than-Bouillon-awesomeness. Here's another great recipe to use it in (be sure to check out the minestrone!):
2 lbs cubed beef stew meat
3 T olive oil
4 T Better than Bouillon, beef flavor
4 c. boiling water (I use my tea kettle for this. If you don't have one, I don't think it's necessary to have boiling water, it just makes it easier!)
2-3 T. dried rosemary, to taste
1-1 1/2 T dried parsley, to taste
1/2 - 1 t. ground black pepper
3 - 4 large potatoes, cubed (I do not peel my potatoes or carrots. Ever. Or fruit when baking or cooking in general.)
4-5 carrots, cut into 1 in. pieces
4 stalks celery, cut into 1 in. pieces
1 onion, chopped
2-4 T. cornstarch
2-4 T. cold water
In a large pot, brown beef in olive oil over medium heat. Dissolve bouillon in boiling water, and pour into pot. Add rosemary, parsley, and pepper. (The amount really depends on how much you like. I like a LOT. I am generally pretty heavy handed when it comes to rosemary or oregano in any recipe.) Bring all of this to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook 1 hour.
Add potatoes, carrots, onions, and celery to the pot. Dissolve cornstarch 1 T. to 1 T. cold water at a time and stir into the mixture, until the broth reaches your desired thickness. I like it thick, so I often use anywhere from 3-5 T. realistically. I just keep adding a little at a time until it looks the way I want it to look. Cover and simmer one more hour and serve! We like ours with homemade cornbread!
This recipe got me so excited the first time I made it! I have had ZERO success with beef stew for the last 7 years of being responsible for my own meals. (ha) My mom makes the best beef stew, and even though I've tried to do it as she says, it's been a complete and utter failure everytime I've made it. It's just one of those things moms are better at I guess. Seriously, mine was inedible. Pretty sure we ordered pizza every time I attempted it. And I'm pretty sure I cried.
Anyway, this was a rousing success with my entire family (all children included, even the baby and picky 6 year old). Not to mention the smell of rosemary and beef broth is to just die for!
(I'm posting this at WFMW today! Check it out if you like!)