Stock is very simple to make, as most of the cooking time is unattended. A good stock is very useful to the cook; it is the foundation of soups and sauces and it adds depth of flavor to braised meats and other dishes. When making beef stock, add some veal bones if you can, because they contain more collagen and will result in a richer, more gelatinous stock. A spilt calf’s foot is ideal, but not easy to find.
Brown stock is made by roasting the bones before cooking them in water. The result is a darker, stronger flavored stock that is a great addition to slow-cooked beef dishes and sauces for the roast beef, as well as with game when game stock isn’t available.
Stock can be made almost any quantity, I find this amount fits easily into my stockpot, the recipe can be doubled. The stock can be refrigerated or frozen; if room is tight in the freezer, the stock can be concentrated before freezing (see here).
2 Carrots, sliced
1 Large Onion, unpeeled, cut into wedges
1 Celery Stalk, sliced
1 Leek, trimmed quartered lengthwise
4 1/2 lbs. Mixed Beef & Veal Bones, cut into 2-to-3-inch pieces
1 Large Tomato, halved
6 Garlic Cloves
Mushroom Trimmings, optional
1 Bay Leaf
3 Thyme Sprigs
3 Flat-Leaf Parsley Stems
1/4 tsp. Black Peppercorns
Kosher Salt, optional
- Preheat the oven to 425º F. Scatter the carrots, onion, celery, and leek over the bottom of a large roasting pan. Rinse the bones well under cold running water, pat bones dry, and place them on top of the vegetables.
- Roasting, turning the bones once or twice, for 1 hour, or until the bones are well browned.
- Using tongs, transfer the bones and vegetables to a large stockpot. Discard any fat from the roasting pan. Add 2 cups water to the pan and bring to a boil over medium heat, deglazing the pan by scraping up the browned bits from the bottom. Add this liquid to the stockpot, along with the tomato, garlic, mushroom trimmings, if using, bay leaf, thyme, and parsley. Pour in 10 cups cold water, or enough to cover the bones, and bring slowly to a boil. As soon as the stock begins to boil, reduce the heat so that it simmers. Using a soup ladle, skim skim off any scum that has risen to the surface (rotate its bowl on the surface of the stock to make ripples: these will carry the scum to the edges of the pot, and you can then use the ladle to lift it off). Add the peppercorns and simmer, uncovered, for 5 hours, skimming from time to time.
- Strain the stock through a sieve into a large bowl. Discard the debris left in the sieve, and cool the stock quickly by placing the bowl in larger bowl or sink filled with ice water; stir occasionally as it cools. When you taste the stock, you will notice that something is missing–the salt. Once you add it, the flavor will sparkle. But it was deliberately left out so that you can reduce the stock if desired, without any fear that it will become too salty. If you are not reducing the stock, add about 1 tsp. salt.
- Refrigerate the stock for 6 hours, or overnight, to allow the fat to rise to the top of the stock and the debris to sink to the bottom. Remove the fat before using (and discard the debris at the bottom of the bowl).
- Divide into 1-cup quantities and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze for up to 6 months.
White Veal Stock
º White veal stock can be used in any veal dish as well as in place of poultry or pork stock.
º Use only veal bones rather than a mixture of beef and veal bones. Do not roast the bones or vegetables. Place the bones and vegetables in the stockpot, along with the tomato, garlic, optional mushroom trimmings, bay leaf, thyme, and parsley, and add 12 cups cold water. Proceed as for brown stock, adding the peppercorns after skimming.
The information and recipe, contained within, is excerpted from Bones by Jennifer McLagan and can be purchased here.