Live Longer and Stronger
Our video producer filmed this cow heel soup cookery demo to show on YouTube, Facebook and a blog. A twenty-something-year-old declared after watching it no-one’s interested in this stuff, another said tail-to-toe cuts such as cow heel and oxtail were ‘slavery food’. She suggested feeding granny a nice piece of salmon instead. We know that a diet packed with omega-3 fatty acids can decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. But it’s better to find food our elderly relatives will enjoy and not waste money on food they won’t eat.
Eating oxtail and cow heel isn’t about saving money. Cowheel and oxtails recipes are the most delicious, satisfying meals on this earth. After an operation my eighty-year-old mother would only eat soup made with cow foot (she uses the singular). It’s a myth that we lose our appetite when we age. Dental problems and loss of taste can make it look like a person’s appetite has reduced when it hasn’t. Sucking cow calcaneus requires no teeth, creating a graveyard of bones on a plate is incredibly satisfying.
Good nutrition improves immunity
As we grow older our ability to cook delicious homemade food weakens with our bodies. Good nutrition improves immunity, fights fatigue, helping us to live longer and stronger. Diet plans for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes can make every meal taste the same. There’s mouth-watering yummy delight in oxtail and cow heel recipes.
Dad’s most loved dish
Cow heel is the firm favourite of young and old lovers of traditional foods across ethnicities and cultures around the world. An Asian friend of mine said his grandfather regularly made cow heel for himself and another African-Caribbean friend said cow foot was his Dad’s most loved dish. If you look at the timeline of a person in their eighties they’ve grown up in times when eating all parts of an animal was economic and sustainable. It you want to invoke good memories give your ageing ancestor a bowl of gluey soup.
Lancashire Cow Heel Pie
Lancashire cow heel and steak pie may not be on menus in London but it’s as traditional as fish and chips. “The heel will make excellent soup if put on and boiled with fresh cold water, vegetables, and herbs,” said Barbara Wallace in 1878. I prefer cowheel in pepperpot, a Guyanese delicacy normally reserved for special events.
Who’ll feed the elderly who are living longer
Eating should make us feel stronger, give us more energy and us help manage our moods. It’s ironic that while younger people are rushing to cut out food groups and consuming litres of slimming shakes. Older people are drinking shakes, delivered with their prescription pill blister packs, to gain weight.
Season and add cornmeal dumplings
Cow heel soup takes a day to cook in a regular pot. We used a pressure cooker to speed up the cooking time to an hour. Our cow heel soup was seasoned with scallion, onion, tomatoes, thyme and stock. We added packet soup, white potatoes and cornmeal dumplings.