Beef Stock Recipe
Beef stock is rich and dark in color. This beef stock recipe is more of a formula than a proper recipe, and the procedure is similar to what I learned to do in culinary school. Beef stock adds a pleasant brown hue and meatiness to any food, and is perfect to use with beef, pork, and wild game dishes.
- One of the best soups to make with beef broth is French onion soup, which I demo in episode 43, Orange Glazed Salmon, Mushroom Risotto, Zucchini Salad, French Onion Soup
- Few things taste better over steak than a sauce made of reduced red wine (or port), cracked pepper, reduced beef stock, and a small swirl of butter.
- If you braise short ribs or another "cheap" cut of beef, try using beef stock as the liquid element
- A bit of beef stock and white wine makes homemade stroganoff robust and delicious.
- Sautéed mushrooms are more rich and complex when you use a bit of beef stock to deglaze them from the pan.
- Stir a little beef stock into your meatloaf or meatball mix for extra depth and moisture.
There are both "white" and "brown" version of beef stock. The difference is that in the "white" stock, you don't roast the bones or vegetables. White stock is more versatile but less flavorful than brown stock -- white stock is suitable to use with poultry, for example. Brown stock will probably overpower the poultry.
Beef Stock Formula
- 1:3 proportion of mirepoix to bones, by volume
- Roast the bones
- Brown the mirepoix in the rendered fat
- Add bay leaves, peppercorns, and fresh herbs
- Simmer uncovered 6-8 hours
- Strain through cheesecloth for clarity
- Acquire 1-3 lbs of beef bones, preferably with a bit of fat on them and lots of marrow in them.
- If you see no bones in the butcher section, ask the butcher.
- In many markets, bones are not displayed, and sometimes they are free to those who ask.
- Dry-roast the bones in a 400 degree F oven for 1-6 hours, or until the bones are obviously browned and there is a lot of fat in the pan.
- Put the bones in a suitably sized pot. Set aside the roasting pan, you will need it and the fat it contains.
- Cover the bones with cold water so that they are a few inches under the surface.
- Bring the pot to a boil.
- Chop up the mirepoix after you start roasting the bones, but before you set them on the stove to boil.
- Mirepoix = roughly equal amounts of carrots, celery, & onions
- Dice into 1/2″ to 1″ chunks, aka "large" dice
- Chop enough to get a 1:3 or a 1:2 ratio of mirepoix to bones, by volume.
- Toss the vegetables in the reserved fat in the roasting pan.
- Roast them until they are caramelized and cooked. Add olive oil if they start to look dry.
- Add the roasted veggies to the beef stock.
- Add herbs and spices. I like to add some parsley leaves, peppercorns, coriander, bay leaves, allspice to a little cheesecloth bag and then toss that in.
- Avoid ground or finely textured herbs and spices for the best clarity in the final product.
- Do not salt the stock.
- Simmer on low for 6-8 hours in an uncovered stockpot. Skim any foam or muck that forms on the surface.
- The slow simmering extracts all of the flavor and minerals locked away inside the bones and vegetables, and evaporates a bit of the water, which concentrates the flavors.
- Strain and finish. Line a collander or a strainer with a five or six layers of cheesecloth and pour the stock through it, which clarifies it and removes particles.
Now your stock is ready!
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