Murphy's Beef Broth from Outlander book Voyager

Murphy's Beef Broth from Voyager

"Wot, not the broth, too?"  Murphy said.  The cook's broad red face lowered menacingly.  "Which I've had folk rise from their deathbeds after a sup of that broth!"

He took the pannikin of broth from Fergus, sniffed at it critically, and thrust it under my nose.

"Here, smell that, missus.  Marrow bones, garlic, caraway seed, and a lump o pork fat to flavor, all strained careful through muslin, same as some folks bein' poorly to their stomachs can't abide chunks, but chunks you'll not find there, not a one!"

The broth was in fact a clear golden brown, with an appetizing smell that made my own mouth water, despite the excellent breakfast I had made less than an hour before.  Captain Raines had a delicate stomach, and in consequence had taken some pains both in the procurement of a cook and the provisioning of the galley, to the benefit of the officers' table.

Voyager (Chapter 41 - We Set Sail)

Which Outlander character reminds you most of yourself?

He or she may not be your favourite.  Instead, I'm curious about the character who best reflects your personality and actions in the real world, as you go about your day.

Your "Outlander Mirror," let's call him/her.

mirepoix for beef broth

For me, the answer is, without a doubt, Aloysius O'Shaughnessy Murphy.  Murph and I are a couple of chips off the old chef block.

We're grumpy ( and sometimes downright surly) until you hit the right note with your conversation.  It's not a coincidence there are a lot of reality shows filmed in restaurant kitchens, aye?  Every one I've ever worked in has been hot, steamy, cramped and hurricane paced -- and full of sharp knives -- add a TV crew and hot lights, and you don't need a script for Chef Ramsay to lose his rag.  It happens most nights...even when the cameras aren't there.  Trust me.

As for Claire, she had Murphy clocked before he even let her into his galley.  Mention cardamom, nutmeg, anise, ginger root, vanilla beans, and the holy grail, saffron -- even to a 21st Century chef -- and we're putty in your hands.

bones for beef broth

Like most cooks/chefs (most of us prefer cook -- chef translates as leader -- and there is never room for more than 1 chef in any kitchen, no matter it's size), Murphy takes his food  seriously.  We are feeders, when you get down to it, and food is more about just filling an empty stomach.  A comforting bowl of stock can soothe a sore tummy, energize a body wracked with illness, or warm you down to your toes when you come in out of the rain.

There is a very good chance that Murphy used veal bones to make his stock.  Young bones contain a higher percentage of cartilage and other connective tissue than older ones, and the collagen in the connective tissues is converted to gelatin and water during the cooking process.  When it’s all finished, the higher the gelatin content of the stock, the richer and more full-bodied the stock.  The younger the animal, the better the stock.

That said, I use beef bones to make my stock.  For one thing, the way most veal is raised makes it unacceptable to most these days.  Free-range veal is an option — less controversial than their formula-fed, white-fleshed cousins whose praises my Chefs continually sang -- and although the flesh of the free-range is much darker and (I’m told) has a much more substantial flavour than that of the formula-fed, I doubt very much that there is a significant difference in their bones.

My other reason for using beef bones is that I live on a small island where I can't get veal bones.  Sometimes, circumstances make choices verra, verra easy.

Ask your butcher for leg or shin bones, cut the way mine are above:  2-3" thick, mostly trimmed of fat, and full of marrow.


Caraway is a unique addition to the bouquet garni, which is what flavour and aroma to a stock, in addition to the bones and mirepoix (onions, carrot and celery).

The seeds add a light, smoky flavour, and are known for their ability to quell an angry, nauseated tummy.

beef broth

Outlander recipes where you can use your beef stock:

broth-pannikin- copy

As with my recipes for Chicken Stock and Vegetable Stock, you'll notice that salt is missing from the list.  NEVER SALT A STOCK.  When you use your stock in a soup or sauce, or serve it, steaming in mugs for those coming out of the cold, is the time to season it with salt.

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