Sunday, February 10, 2008

Real dogs

I'm roasting some bones in the oven for beef stock. After they brown nicely -- developing a range of deep flavors -- I'll simmer in water in my stock pot into the evening. See the chicken stock post of a little earlier for more comments on stock making. As with chicken stock, I won't add salt or other seasonings. Just let the bones and marrow do their thing. We haven't had homemade beef broth for several years -- dunno why, just one of those things -- so I'm psyched.

I hadn't realized how easy it was to get beef bones. I asked a manager type at my local, locally owned grocery this morning, "How can I get bones for making beef stock?" thinking he'd have to go into the back and dig some out for me. He pointed to the freezer case two feet from where we were standing. "Right there!" he answered, and we both laughed a little.

I looked at the label. They were labeled "Dog Bones" and priced at $1.29 per pound. I picked out about $6 worth, 4 1/2 pounds or so.

I made some remark about how funny it was that people consider these to be just for dogs, when they make the most wonderful beef stock possible.

The manager guy nodded. "Yes!" he agreed. "Cooking is such a dying art."

"Not at our house!" I said, "We're just getting going."

"Ours, too!" he said.

We commiserated for a few moments about The State of Things, and parted best of beef-eating buddies, as it were.

Minutes later, I was in the checkout line. The cashier asked me about the bones -- what was I going to use them for?

"Stock," I said, "Like broth or bullion. You just roast them in the oven, and then simmer them in water for a while. It makes the most delicious stock, so much better than anything you could get from a can or a bullion cube." She was looking at me intently, so I went on. "Then you just use it for starting soups, or whatever. Wherever you would use stock. Like when a recipe calls for stock, or bullion cubes."

She nodded and continued ringing out my groceries.

Finally she asked the question that must have been on her mind all the while.

"Are they really made of real dogs?"


  1. Funny enough that they were labeled as if only for consumption by dogs, but even funnier that the cashier thought you were going to make stock from the bones of real dogs! LOL

  2. Oh my god - I'd have keeled over laughing! I hope you said yes.

  3. Vesna,

    Love it! Sadly, not unusual though. I always seem to have the veggies that the checkout clerks don't recongnize (fennel bulbs, celeriac, etc.).

    I get a lot of comments if I mention that all the chicken I'm buying is not for people, but for my cats. They look at me like I am doing something super extravagent. It's hard for people to believe that it actually works out cheaper (even after buying a heavy duty grinder than can handle raw bones) to make a ground-up whole chicken (the same chicken I would feed my family), than to buy canned cat food (Wellness brand), not to mention the $$$ I now save on vet bills.

    I found your blog after you left a comment on mine. This was the first post I read. I think I'll probably enjoy the others, too, if this one is any indication.


  4. Thanks for stopping by, everyone! Anna, I found your Against the Grain blog through your comment on Regina's Controlled-Carb kids blog. And the blogs go round and round...

    For some reason, though, when I click on your name in the comment above, I get an error from Blogger. Good luck with your blog troubles -- maybe you might consider experimenting with a Blogger blog. Cat and I both came over to the big B from different, more cumbersome blog setups (mine was a paid service) and have been happier since! :)