Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Recipe 12: Beef Stock

Okay, here it is, the much anticipated Recipe 12! I wanted to do something on the basic side since after missing so many recipes myself I didn't feel like I could ask you guys for something too crazy (not that I'm ever that crazy--especially these days!). I'm craving something savory after the Mont Blanc I guess too. And plus, I've never made beef stock before! Robert and I are faithful makers of chicken stock but for some reason have never tried beef. Thank you to Jer for giving me the idea.

This is a recipe from Julia Child's The Way to Cook and is meant just as a starting point. I do like the idea of roasting the bones first but I'm not sure how I feel about adding tomatoes! I'm not even sure you need all the veggies--with chicken stock we sometimes add just an onion and a clove or two of garlic and maybe some peppercorns so that it really tastes only like chicken. I don't know though, maybe with beef you need to round it out a little more. As long as you have good bones I'm sure it'll turn out. She suggests using shank, neck, knuckle and leg bones plus any scraps from the freezer. She also says oxtails will "give extra flavor and a pleasantly slightly gelatinous texture"! Anyway, hopefully this will be fun for everyone and be good inspiration as we move into soup season!

Brown Beef Stock


3 to 4 pounds (4 quarts or so) meaty raw beef bones sawed into pieces of 3 inches or less
2 each: large carrots, onions, and celery ribs, roughly chopped
6 or more quarts cold water
A large size herb bouquet (parsley, bay leaf, thyme) plus 4 allspice berries and 6 peppercorns
2 large cloves of unpeeled garlic, smashed
1 large unpeeled tomato, cored and roughly chopped, or 1/2 cup canned Italian plum tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more as needed later

Special equipment suggested: A roasting pan for the bones; an 8-quart kettle with cover for simmering the stock; a colander and fine-meshed sieve for straining

Browning the bones (30 to 40 minutes)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Arrange the bones and 1/2 cup each of the chopped vegetables in the roasting pan and brown in the upper third of the oven, turning and basting with accumulated fat several times until they are a good walnut brown. Scoop bones and vegetables into kettle; pour out and discard accumulated fat.

Deglazing the roasting pan
Pour 2 cups of the water into the pan and bring to the boil over moderately high heat; using a wooden spoon, scrape browning juices into the liquid, then pour the liquid over the browned bones in the kettle.

Simmering the stock (4 to 5 hours)
Add the herb bouquet to the kettle and the rest of the vegetables listed, with enough of the water to cover the ingredients by 2 inches. Bring to the simmer on top of the stove; skim off and discard gray skum that will collect on the surface for several minutes. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Cover loosely, and maintain at the slow simmer, skimming off fat and scum occasionally, and adding a little boiling water if the liquid has evaporated below the surface of the ingredients. Simmer until you feel the bones have given their all.

Straining and degreasing
Strain the stock through the colander into a bowl, pressing juices out of the ingredients. Degrease the stock and season lightly to taste. Strain again, this time through the fine-meshed sieve into a clean pan or container.

NOTE May be prepared in advance; chill uncovered, then cover and refrigerate or freeze.


Blogger Kate said...

Ok, so I am pretty much just a chicken stock person too....this is a good idea.

11 October, 2006 13:14  
Blogger Elaine said...

let me know what you guys decide on using the beef stock for. i need some ideas.

11 October, 2006 14:27  
Blogger Cath said...

Hmm, I have a recipe for mushroom barley soup that calls for beef broth, and Jer was talking about a risotto. When Chris and Hye were here they were talking about how good neng myun (sp?!) is with homemade stock. And there's always pho! I don't know--let's keep brainstorming!

11 October, 2006 15:39  
Blogger Kate said...

neng myun? pho? i need enlightenment!

12 October, 2006 11:29  
Blogger Elaine said...

nyeng-myun is a korean dish, noodles in a cold beef broth. they usually serve it with shredded pickled radish, carrots, pear,cucumbers and hard boiled eggs cut in half. They bring over condiments to add into the soup: rice vinegar, hot mustard, red pepper flakes. My summer favorite is when they add some beef broth that has been frozen to a slushy consistency so while you are eating the noodles the broth is still icy cold by the time you are done. Mmmm. I might have to make this. Good call Cath!

12 October, 2006 14:13  
Blogger Elaine said...

pho is the vietnamese noodle soup. Tasty beef broth with flat rice noodles. They serve it with paper thin slices of raw beef sirloin (it cooks in seconds when thrown into your bowl of steamy hot soup), cilantro, thai basil, lime wedges, bean sprouts, thinly sliced white onion and chopped green onions. The beef broth is boiled up with ginger, shallots, radish, carrots, star anise, cloves, cinnamon sticks, fish sauce, and a little sugar. let me know if you guys want either of these recipes. Getting excited to make my broth.

12 October, 2006 14:22  
Blogger Elaine said...

I've seen broth recipes that use beef shanks to oxtails to brisket. We'll se whats cheapest at the market.

12 October, 2006 14:23  
Blogger Kate said...

Is Shabu Shabu the Japanese equivalent?

12 October, 2006 15:09  
Blogger Kate said...

I think I would like both of those recipes.....but if its too much to type I prefer the sound of the warm Pho.

12 October, 2006 15:10  
Blogger Jer said...

Great idea Cath, especially now that its getting colder. When we lived in Argentina I probably made beef stock once a week - the beef is not only so good there but its really very cheap. I would use the broth to make soups mainly. I made it a few times when we returned home but was always disappointed with the flavor because of how amazing it was when we made it in the world's cow capital.

A year or so ago I started making it again with better cuts of meat and decided that this is really important from a flavor standpoint. Some of the cheaper bones they sell in U.S. markets these days just don't impart enough flavor or collagen. So I typically use bonier short ribs (for flavor) and ox-tail (for gelatin/collagen).

I like to roast the bones ahead of time too but am too lazy to do it in a pan in the oven. I always do it in a cast iron pot that I will use for my stock making on the stove. I salt and pepper the meat then brown them in some peanut oil. When done I leave just enough of the fat to properly cook the mireproix. I've tried it before with tomato and don't think its necesarry and depending on the tomato can impart too much acid. And I typically don't add garlic. Sometimes I add some fennel and a handfull of meatier mushrooms and think these are helpful to the broth. I also think bay leaf is important.

The asian soups sound wonderful. Thanks for the recipes Elaine. A few other ideas to use the broth: classic onion soup, wild mushroom soup, mushroom risotto, shredded duck risotto, cassoulet.

14 October, 2006 08:02  
Blogger Ashley said...

Great idea Cath. I am looking forward to making my broth and then some Pho!

16 October, 2006 22:11  

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