Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Homemade Beef Stock

Recipe from Martha Stewart Living Magazine and Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen
Makes 6 quarts

Homemade stocks are just far more superior in taste than canned. It takes some time to make, but the recipes for homemade stocks usually make several quarts which can be frozen for later and used in many recipes such as soups, stews, sauces, etc…. When you know you’re going to be home for most of the day, try making some homemade stocks. There’s just a bit of prep work and after that, you just let the stock simmer pretty much unattended. Try this stock when making Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Soup (Recipe on this blog.)

8 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
6 sprigs fresh thyme or 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
4 sprigs fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
2 dried bay leaves
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
6 pound beef bones (I use locally raised beef bones from Fisher Farms available at Lost River Market & Deli.)
1 large onion, peel on, quartered
2 large carrots, cut into thirds
2 stalks celery, cut into thirds
2 cups dry red wine
Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Make a bouquet garni (fancy French term for a bundle of fresh herbs) by wrapping parsley, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, and peppercorns in a piece of cheesecloth. Tie with kitchen twine, and set aside. Arrange beef bones, onion, carrots, and celery in an even layer in a heavy roasting pan. Roast, turning every 20 minutes, until the vegetables and the bones are deep brown, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer the bones, and vegetables to a large stockpot, and set aside. Pour off the fat from the roasting pan, and discard. Place the pan over high heat on the stove. Add wine, and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits; boil until the wine has reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Pour all of the liquid into the stockpot.
Add 6 quarts of cold water to the stockpot, or more if needed to cover bones. Do not add less water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a very gentle simmer. Add the reserved bouquet garni. Liquid should just bubble up to surface. Skim the foam from the surface, and discard. Simmer over the lowest possible heat for 3 hours; a skin will form on the surface of the liquid; skim off with a slotted spoon, and discard. Repeat as needed. Add water if at any time the level drops below the bones.
Strain the stock through a fine sieve into a large bowl. Discard the solids. Let cool to room temperature. Transfer to airtight containers. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight. Stock may be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 4 months. If storing, leave fat layer intact to seal the stock. Before using, remove the fat that has collected on the surface.

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