Properly prepared, beef stocks are extremely nutritious, containing the minerals of the bone, cartilage, marrow and vegetables as electrolytes, a form that is easy to assimilate.
Good beef stock must be made with several sorts of bones: the knuckle and feet add large amounts of gelatin to the beef broth; marrow bones add flavor and the particular nutrients of bone marrow; and meaty rib or neck bones add color and flavor.
Properly prepared, beef stocks are extremely nutritious, containing the minerals of the bone, cartilage, marrow and vegetables as electrolytes, a form that is easy to assimilate. Acidic wine or vinegar added during cooking helps to draw minerals, particularly calcium, magnesium and potassium, into the broth.
What you will need:
4 pounds marrow and knuckle bones
1 calves foot, cut into pieces (optional)
3 pounds meaty rib or neck bones
4 quarts cold water
½ cup vinegar
3 onions, coarsely chopped
3 carrots, coarsely chopped
3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
Several springs of fresh thyme, tied together
1 teaspoon dried green peppercorns, crushed
1 bunch parsley
What you will need to do:
Place the knuckle and marrow bones and optional calves foot in a very large pot with the vinegar and cover with the water. Let this stand for about one hour. Meanwhile, place the meaty bones in a roasting pan and brown at 350 degrees in the oven. When this meat is well browned, add it to the pot along with the vegetables. Pour the fat out of the roasting pan, add the cold water to the pan, set over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon to loosen up the coagulated juices. Then add the liquid to the pot. Add additional water, if necessary, to cover the bones; but the liquid should come no higher than within one inch of the rim of the pot, as the volume will expand slightly during cooking. Bring this to a boil. A large amount of scum will come to the top, and it is important to remove this with a spoon. After you have skimmed, reduce the heat and add the thyme and the peppercorns.
Simmer the stock for at least 12 hours or longer. Just before finishing, add the parsley and simmer another 10 minutes.
You will now have a pot of rather repulsive looking brown liquid containing globs of gelatin and fatty material. After you have strained this liquid, you will have a delicious and nourishing clear broth that will be used for many other recipes.
Remove the bones with tongs or a slotted spoon and then you will need to strain this liquid into another container. Let it cool in the refrigerator and remove the congealed fat that rises to the top. Transfer to smaller containers and to the freezer for long term storage.
For variations: Use lamb bones or venison meat and bones instead of the beef.
Published in: Cooking