Okay, here it is, the much anticipated Recipe 12! I wanted to do something on the basic side since after missing so many recipes myself I didn't feel like I could ask you guys for something too crazy (not that I'm ever that crazy--especially these days!). I'm craving something savory after the Mont Blanc I guess too. And plus, I've never made beef stock before! Robert and I are faithful makers of chicken stock but for some reason have never tried beef. Thank you to Jer for giving me the idea.
This is a recipe from Julia Child's The Way to Cook and is meant just as a starting point. I do like the idea of roasting the bones first but I'm not sure how I feel about adding tomatoes! I'm not even sure you need all the veggies--with chicken stock we sometimes add just an onion and a clove or two of garlic and maybe some peppercorns so that it really tastes only like chicken. I don't know though, maybe with beef you need to round it out a little more. As long as you have good bones I'm sure it'll turn out. She suggests using shank, neck, knuckle and leg bones plus any scraps from the freezer. She also says oxtails will "give extra flavor and a pleasantly slightly gelatinous texture"! Anyway, hopefully this will be fun for everyone and be good inspiration as we move into soup season!
Brown Beef Stock
MAKES 3 TO 4 QUARTS
3 to 4 pounds (4 quarts or so) meaty raw beef bones sawed into pieces of 3 inches or less
2 each: large carrots, onions, and celery ribs, roughly chopped
6 or more quarts cold water
A large size herb bouquet (parsley, bay leaf, thyme) plus 4 allspice berries and 6 peppercorns
2 large cloves of unpeeled garlic, smashed
1 large unpeeled tomato, cored and roughly chopped, or 1/2 cup canned Italian plum tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more as needed later
Special equipment suggested: A roasting pan for the bones; an 8-quart kettle with cover for simmering the stock; a colander and fine-meshed sieve for straining
Browning the bones (30 to 40 minutes)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Arrange the bones and 1/2 cup each of the chopped vegetables in the roasting pan and brown in the upper third of the oven, turning and basting with accumulated fat several times until they are a good walnut brown. Scoop bones and vegetables into kettle; pour out and discard accumulated fat.
Deglazing the roasting pan
Pour 2 cups of the water into the pan and bring to the boil over moderately high heat; using a wooden spoon, scrape browning juices into the liquid, then pour the liquid over the browned bones in the kettle.
Simmering the stock (4 to 5 hours)
Add the herb bouquet to the kettle and the rest of the vegetables listed, with enough of the water to cover the ingredients by 2 inches. Bring to the simmer on top of the stove; skim off and discard gray skum that will collect on the surface for several minutes. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Cover loosely, and maintain at the slow simmer, skimming off fat and scum occasionally, and adding a little boiling water if the liquid has evaporated below the surface of the ingredients. Simmer until you feel the bones have given their all.
Straining and degreasing
Strain the stock through the colander into a bowl, pressing juices out of the ingredients. Degrease the stock and season lightly to taste. Strain again, this time through the fine-meshed sieve into a clean pan or container.
NOTE May be prepared in advance; chill uncovered, then cover and refrigerate or freeze.