Home made beef stock is easy to make, and adds wonderful flavor and richness to soups, stews, sauces, gravies, and pasta. It takes a while to get it done, but if you're hanging out at home on a snowy day, make your house smell wonderful, and enjoy the beautiful, savory stock for weeks to come.
Get yourself some meaty bones, (the more marrow, the better), a roaster, and some veg for flavor. Let's get started. Here's what you need:
About 8 pounds beef bones (I found a rack of beef ribs for .99 cents/pound. Cut them into individual ribs, then chop them in half to expose the marrow).
5 celery stalks
2 large onions
2 leeks, white and light green parts only
1 large head garlic, halved horizontally
1/4 cup tomato paste
4 Tbls olive oil
6 stems fresh thyme
6 stems fresh parsley
4 bay leaves
2 Tbls whole peppercorns
2 Tbls Kosher salt
1/2 cup red wine (for deglazing)
Chop (or have the butcher cut) the bones to expose as much marrow as possible.
Put the bones in a large roaster. Throw in the washed, but not peeled, and roughly chopped veg. Smear the tomato paste over the meat or veg, and drizzle the whole pan with some olive oil. Season with Kosher salt.
Put the roaster into a 425 degree (F) oven for one hour. Remove from the oven and turn the bones and veg over with a spatula, scraping up all the bits stuck to the bottom. If the bones are not deeply brown, put back into the oven for another 30-60 minutes.
Put the roasted ingredients into the biggest stock pot you have, at least 8 quarts. Cover with water, and place on the stove over medium high heat. Add the bay leaves and herbs. bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer. Put the roaster on the stove top. Add the wine and scrape up all the bits of flavor stuck to the pan. Add it to the stock pot. Walk away. For at least 6 hours, and up to 18. Add more water as needed to keep the ingredients covered, and the pot full.
Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer. Smash the veg with a big fork, spoon, or spatula to get out as much liquid as possible. Discard all solids.
Cool overnight. The fat will have risen to the top and solidified. Scoop it off and discard.
Now, line a fine mesh strainer with a layer of paper towels or cheesecloth. Pour the liquid through to clarify. Taste. Stock will be very concentrated. Remind yourself to dilute when using. I write notes to myself on the bag.
Pour the stock into quart size containers, cover, and freeze. I use zip top bags so I can freeze the flat in my freezer,
Keep some stock in the freezer to make quick, velvety, rich, French Onion Soup. Stay tuned. And, please, please, make the French Onion Soup. I'll post that later this week, after you've made your stock.