Because there wasn't enough cooking for Thanksgiving, we decided to take on Pocket Soup, one of those pioneer recipes that sounds like the perfect trail food to try making at home. It's a multi-day process so we decided to do this over the holiday weekend and see what happens. We went with the simplest recipe - beef, water, air. And a crockpot. So here you go, beef Pocket Soup. If you have questions, we've included the video that was our inspiration. As we watch it a few times we get used to the outfit...
Pocket Soup Prep
@ 5 lb. Beef Shank bone w/meat
For the first step, place the beef bones into the crockpot and cover with water by about an inch (depending upon the room left in the crock). Cook on low for 10 hours. Pull the bones and meat from the pot. Allow the liquid to cool overnight so that the remaining fat solidifies. Skim the fat off the liquid (can be saved for another use or disposed of).
We used tripled cheesecloth in a funnel and strained the liquid twice. The video we watched had the cook using more of a flour sack cloth and straining it once.
Put clarified liquid back in a clean crockpot. Do not cover. Cook on low for 18 - 24 hours until you have a deep medium brown and the cooled liquid forms a loose gel. At this point, any heat source will melt it back down so keep away from heat sources.
Pull the gel out of the pot and lay it out on a clean cheese/flour cloth. If you have a fan, set it up to blow on the gel until it is further dehydrated to a tough leather texture. You can then cut the soup up into small squares perfect for travel!
We'd love to hear from you if you try this or if you have a pioneer recipe to share! Actually, one of our camp host friends made something called "breaded tomatoes" that was delicious. I have to find that recipe somewhere - like a comfort food dessert!
Photos of the process
We found these folks on YouTube, the Townsends have extensive content on 18th Century like and cooking. Below is the video that was our inspiration.