Tuesday, May 31, 2016


{These French recipies are from a French cookbook called La Cuisine:  Guide Practique de la Ménagère by Chef R. Blondeau.  This book was passed down to me from my great-grandmother, who was from Alsace, a North-eastern region on the Rhine river plain in France.  It was published in 1930 as a guide for cooks hired to cook for a family.

 I am translating the recipes from French, testing them out with home-grown or raised food, and re-writing them in a modern format, with notes about what worked for me in the kitchen} 

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This recipe caught my eye as I was translating the soups section, because it sounded so unusual.  Last week I made a large pot of rich beef broth, and had broth and marrow from the bones on hand - a perfect opportunity to try it out.

Of course I wasn't sure at all what it would be like, or if anyone in my family would eat it for dinner, so I made it as a start to an already larger meal just in case it wasn't popular.

It was simple, easy to prepare, and was useful in that it requires somewhat stale bread to crumble - something else we had on hand.

And it turned out not only to be popular, but everyone was fighting over the dumplings!

You can find good-quality grassfed marrow bones locally from Full Circle Farm.


 Crumble stale bread (grate it), until you have an amount equal in size to a medium orange.

Beat up an egg yolk with a pinch of fine salt, add the bread crumbs, and mix until you have a dense dough.

Melt about 60 grams of beef bone marrow, and incorporate into the dough.  Pinch off small pieces and roll them between your fingers to give them a cylindrical shape.

Cook the dumplings in a cup of broth until they plump up - about 12 minutes; then add enough broth to make the soup, and serve.

 Soup With Dumplings

1 /12 - 2 cups of stale bread crumbs (how much bread makes this depends on the bread and the shape and size of the loaf - I doubled this recipe for my large family, and it used about half a loaf of the bread we had on hand)

1 egg

a pinch of fine salt

1 quart of broth, warmed

About 4 tablespoons of beef bone marrow

1.  Use a grater to grate the stale bread into bread crumbs.  Put the bread crumbs into a bowl.

2.   Separate the egg, and beat the yolk with a pinch of fine salt.  Mix into the bread crumbs, until it becomes a very stiff dough.  Press the dough down into a flat shape in the bottom of the bowl.

3.  In a small sauce pan, melt the bone marrow, and pour over the flattened dough.  Knead to incorporate the bone marrow.  Divide the dough into small pieces, and roll them to give them a cylindrical shape.

4.  In another small sauce pan, boil about a cup of the broth.  Add the dumplings when the broth is boiling and cook until they look plump (about 12 minutes).  Then add the rest of the broth (or more if you want a more brothy soup).  Taste and adjust the saltiness if necessary.

Notes:  I also used some sliced green onion and a sprinkle of black pepper for serving.

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