You might have wandered into this post after seeing the associated image and wondered what it has to do with Brodo di Parmigiano-Reggiano. Or you might also be wondering what Brodo di Parmigiano-Reggiano is. The answer to the second question is Parmesan broth. I like the way it sounds in Italian. The answer to the first question, my possums, is this:
This is an absurdly ugly picture of my simmering broth. This picture just doesn’t show us a pretty pot of soup, y’all. Add into it that the rear-facing camera on my phone is broken and only working sporadically… and I’m a little embarrassed to post it. (Thank Bob I have an appt this weekend at an Apple Genius Bar.) I guess we can consider it kind of a no-makeup selfie. It isn’t pretty but it is honest.
This is one reason I save up the rinds from my Parmigiano-Reggiano, Asiago and other assorted hard cheeses. You can toss an odd rind or two into soup for some additional flavor. Or… you can save them all up and make a broth. Imagine the rich cheesy goodness of melted cheese in a lighter, but still decadent broth form.
While you could enjoy this broth as-is by simply adding some noodles, veggies and/or meat, my favorite way to use it is in polenta or grits. If you’re in a hurry, you can use it to tart up quick or instant grits. I promise I won’t tell anyone. Use your favorite method for polenta and sub the brodo in place of water. I heap it up in a bowl and, last night, served it with smoked Italian sausage from Werner’s in Kansas City.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 head of garlic, peeled and cloves crushed
- 1 handful of fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
- 1 cup dry sherry or white wine
- 1 pound rinds from Parmesan, Asiago or other hard cheese
- Melt the better in a large dutch oven over medium-high. (I used a 5 quart.) Toss onion, garlic, thyme, bay leaf and peppercorns in. Cook until the onion and garlic are browned.
- Deglaze the pan by adding the wine and stirring to scrape up the brown bits on the bottom.
- Add 4 quarts of water and the cheese rinds. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a gentle simmer.
- Simmer, stirring occasionally to keep the cheese from forming a clump at the bottom, until the broth is reduced by half, about 2 hours.
- Strain. Use immediately or store for up to 4 days in an airtight container.