IN THE KITCHEN WITH MARY SHRADER
2019 US Wellness Meats Featured Chef Q&A
Tell us about yourself:
My name is Mary, and I am a wife, mother, cooking teacher, and YouTube Creator. I am the founder of the Mary’s Nest website at https://marysnest.com, the online cooking school for traditional foods. I live between Austin and San Antonio in the beautiful Texas Hill Country.
How did you get involved in cooking?
Almost everything I know, I learned from my mother. She is a wonderful cook. As a child, I was always by her side in the kitchen. She never wasted anything, and it was from her that I have my earliest memories of learning how to make bone broth. I’ve been cooking, baking, and making bone broth ever since!
Describe your cooking style:
I cook traditional “nutrient-dense” foods, which our ancestors have been making for thousands of years. These foods include grass-fed meats (including organ meats), broth made from the bones, pastured chickens, and wild-caught fish. I create nourishing meals with these animal foods, and I also make homemade cultured dairy, ferments, and sourdough bread.
How did you learn about grass-fed meats?
Moving to Texas was an eye opener. Animals roam the range here, and it’s a beautiful sight. Unfortunately, with the droughts that come and go in central Texas, I am not always able to get a regular supply of grass-fed meat, so I was thrilled to discover US Wellness Meats!
What is your favorite recipe featuring grass-fed meat?
I have many favorite recipes, but my go-to recipe is any one of my bone broth recipes, which include a Rich and Gelatinous Beef Bone Broth, a Roast Chicken Bone Broth, and a Keto Anti-Inflammatory Beef Bone Broth.
For my beef bone broths, I use various combinations of marrow bones, beef shanks, neck bones, knuckles, patellas, and oxtails. The broth and the marrow are nourishing, and the beef from the shanks and oxtails is fall-off-the-bone tender. The cartilage from the oxtails, knuckles, and patellas helps to make the broth very gelatinous. Plus, the tallow will rise to the top of the bone broth, which I save to use later for sautéing. I have a playlist of videos showing how I make various bone broths with accompanying printable recipes: https://marysnest.com/how-to-make-bone-broth-video-playlist/
You’re stranded on a desert island; luckily, you’re stranded with your top 5 ingredients and one must-have kitchen tool:
Given that my “kitchen” is now on a desert island, and I’m not sure what I may encounter, my must-have kitchen tool would be a Bowie Knife. I think it might come in a bit more handy than a chef’s knife. I am Texan, after all!
And as to my top 5 ingredients (assuming fresh water is available from a nearby spring), I would need my top 5 shelf-stable ingredients, including beef tallow, beef jerky, dehydrated bone broth, dried fruit, and dehydrated vegetables
Best cooking secret/tip/piece of advice you’ve learned:
Don’t worry. When food is prepared and served with love at the supper table with everyone sitting down (and with no electronics in sight!), no one will notice if the food is not perfect.Everyone will eat well, enjoy delightful conversation, and leave the table full and content.
What’s your favorite quote/song for culinary inspiration (if any)?
The Irish Kitchen Prayer: “Bless us with good food, the gift of gab, and hearty laughter. May the love and joy we share be with us ever after. Amen.”
Anything else you want to share?
Never waste anything, especially when it comes to animal products. The animal made the ultimate sacrifice so that we may eat nutrient-dense foods. Eat nose to tail, and always say a prayer of thanksgiving before you commence with your meal. Being in a state of gratitude for the abundance we have before us is wonderful for the digestion.
Enter to Win
Enter to win our December 2019 Featured Chef Contest for a chance to win $150 bundle of nutrient dense food! Contest runs from December 1 – December 11, 2019