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:

Brodo di Parmigiano Reggiano

Brodo di Parmigiano Reggiano

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.

Smoked Italian Sausage with Polenta (made with the brodo!)

Smoked Italian Sausage with Polenta (made with the brodo!)

Brodo di Parmigiano-Reggiano
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This is a fairly flexible recipe. Feel free to vary it based on your own preferences and/or what you've got on hand. You can buy or beg for cheese rinds from your local cheese monger. Mine has gotten hip to me and started selling rinds instead of just giving them out. I also will sometimes sub some good chicken stock in place of some of the water.
Author:
Serves: 2 quarts
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. Deglaze the pan by adding the wine and stirring to scrape up the brown bits on the bottom.
  3. Add 4 quarts of water and the cheese rinds. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a gentle simmer.
  4. Simmer, stirring occasionally to keep the cheese from forming a clump at the bottom, until the broth is reduced by half, about 2 hours.
  5. Strain. Use immediately or store for up to 4 days in an airtight container.
Notes
Adapted from Bon Appétit.