HOMEMADE BEEF STOCK
For some reason, I have always been intimidated by the idea of making my own beef stock. I make homemade chicken stock all the time but, in my mind, beef stock seemed like much more of a “to do”. Skimming through some of my favorite cookbooks recently, I kept coming across recipes that called for beef stock instead of chicken. I took that as a sign and decided to go for it. I went to the butcher, bought some beef bones, and got started on my first batch of stock. The process was surprisingly simple and I was left with a rich, flavorful beef broth. I used it for a Chickpea Soup the other day and it was delicious.
Makes about 3 quarts
3 pounds of beef bones
2-3 carrots, peeled cut into large chunks
2-3 celery stalks cut into large chunks
1 sweet onion peeled, cut in half
5 thyme sprigs
2 tomatoes, quartered
4 fresh parsley stems
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a large baking sheet, place the beef bones and roast until brown, approximately 25 minutes. Turn the bones over and add the carrots, onion, and celery to the pan. Roast for another 25 minutes. Remove from the oven. Place a large stock pot on the stove and add all the bones, roasted vegetables, thyme, tomatoes, parsley, and some black peppercorns. Cover the bones with water, about a gallon or so. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 4-6 hours. The longer you simmer, the richer the broth will become. If the water level drops, and the bones start to be exposed, just add more water so that they remain covered the whole time. Strain the broth and skim off any fat. If storing, always allow your broth to cool before you put it into the refrigerator or freezer.