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Release date: 12/28/2004.

You'll find this recipe and its French cousin in it, From AN EXALTATION OF SOUPS,
copyright © 2004
by Patricia Solley,
Published by Three Rivers Press.

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Beef Tea


A horrible pain to make correctly...but no trouble at all when you've got a weak invalid on your hands and are anxious to "beef" him or her up. Two versions, below. Serve warm, in bed, to one sick chick. Then sit back to watch the roses bloom in those pale cheeks.

Broil the steak 2 minutes per side Then, right in the broiling pan, cut the steak into 1-inch squares--and put the squares into a glass pint jar. Be sure to scrape up the bottom of the pan with one of the squares and get every scrap of goodness into the jar. Pour cold water over the meat to cover, then put the jar into a pot of cold water. The point here is not to cook, but to steep the meat. Turn the heat to low and let the goodness leach out of the meat slowly, over the next two hours or so.

When ready to serve, pour off the beef tea, salt slightly to taste, and serve warm, preferably on a tray with silver and linen napkins in a beautiful cup.

From Chris Baedon of St. Petersburg, Florida, an excellent variation identical to the French l'essence de boeuf: "This stuff is a true miracle - years ago I watched my Mom bring my Dad back to health with it and am now currently watching the same thing occur with my Cousin for my Aunt - what we do in my family is incredibly simple and very effective - My Mom and now my Cousin take a large piece of round steak - the meat is then rolled like a scroll lengthwise and inserted into a quart Mason jar - the lid is then screwed on tightly and the jar floated in a large pot of water and simmered all night - this will render about 3/4 cup of pure essense and is tolerated easily and nourishes really sick people back to health - and that's the truth..."