We love this simple recipe for beef stock from Marks Daily Apple. Let us know what you think!
For roughly 2 quarts of stock, you’ll need:
- 4 pounds of bones
- 2 onions
- 3 carrots
- 3 celery stalks
- 4 quarts cold water (as a general rule, use one quart of water for every pound of bones then add more if needed to fully cover bones)
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 parsley stems
- a large pinch of black peppercorns
The secret to a really richly flavored stock is roasting the bones before simmering, although this step is used much less often for chicken stock and fish stock. Some (not professional chefs, however) even say that roasting the bones can be skipped entirely without hugely compromising flavor. If you are making a beef-based stock and choose to roast the bones, make sure they are cut into smallish pieces (3-4 inches) and do not wash the bones since the wet bones will not brown well.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and place the bones in a roasting pan, drizzled with a little oil. Stir occasionally, to make sure all sides brown but do not burn. After a half hour, add the mirepoix (some cooks mix a few tablespoons of tomato paste in with the mirepoix to intensify the flavor).
Roast at least another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, and up to another hour or so until bones and vegetables are well browned. When roasting is complete, combine the bones and vegetables in a large pot with water, bay leaves, parsley and peppercorns. Do not add the fat in the roasting pan to the stock pot – reserve it for another use. Once the fat is drained out, add a little water or wine to the roasting pan to loosen all the caramelized bits and scrape them into the stock pot.
If skipping the roasting step, then simply brown the bones and vegetables with a few tablespoons of oil in a stock pot for 5-10 minutes before adding water, herbs and spices.
Simmer over medium heat without a lid for 3-5 hours. If needed, add a little water during this process to keep the bones covered with liquid. If a lot of foam collects on top of the stock, skim it off occasionally.
Strain the stock to remove all solids.
Cool to room temperature then transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely. You can then freeze the stock in containers or freezer bags for future use. Do not be disappointed if your stock does not have rich, amazing flavor at this point. Remember, it has no salt added and it needs to be reduced even more during the soup-making process to really bring out the flavor.