So, on to making that all important broth... You need pork bones, my butcher did not have enough pork bones that are required by this recipe, so she made the rest up with some pork ribs. Whilst a more expensive option (bones largely free) this has some great rewards, which I will come onto at the end of this post.
You basically roast a load of bones:
You also boil and then roast some chicken wings. You need to start early with this recipe, which is good as this is not a recipe to cook with a glass of wine in hand. There is a lot of taking things out of one dish, in another, out again, moving around and with a toddler at my ankles I lost track a couple of times.
The bones come out like this:
The boiled chicken wings came out looking anaemic with sagging skin (a bit like me after a heavy night). My husband has at least 20 bottles of hot and spicy sauces from all over the country and the world. So, to reward myself for all this handwork so far I threw half a bottle of hot sauce over the anaemic wings, a generous sprinkle of sea salt and shoved them in the oven. Delicious...
Anyways, back to the bone broth, more adding of ingredients and simmering and waiting. Drum roll please. What you end up with is this (get ready to feel underwhelmed)...
...and the leftovers...
I know, I know, it still looks like a dogs dinner, literally. But, the next night I managed to use all of the above and the Shiitake mushrooms to create the following:
This bit was all rather simple. As Nigel explains in the book, once you have built up all the layers of flavours of your stock, it is just a case of adding what you fancy, or on this particular night, what you have. Think of a pizza base and picking your toppings.
In my broth I added spinach (of course green veg), the shiitake mushrooms, noodles, some onions, ginger and garlic. I kept it simple fresh and vegetarian due to the accompanying meat feast. I reheated the left over wings, which were even hotter second time around. The ribs (oh the shame of this) I smothered in barbecue sauce and roasted them in the oven until sticky and falling off the bone. I love barbecue sauce, not even the fancy kinds.
So, this was a labour of love but it provided us with a great great feast. One of our favourites. The soup was beyond flavoursome. Rich but fresh, spicy, refreshing and just so damn tasty. The meat accompaniments were equally delicious. The meat had so much flavour from the roasting, the boiling, the sauces, etc. It was a real tuck in with your fingers and who cares about the white napkins.