Notes: No one does a better job of demystifying cooking than Joy of cooking.
Beef Stock can be as simple as using bouillon cubes (my favorite is Knorr for everyday cooking)
or as complex as clarified brown stock for consomme or soup bases.
Jeff Smith, The Frugal Gourmet, uses bones with no meat on them, sawed into 2" pieces,
if you're lucky enough to find a butcher that will risk life and limb, and simmers for 12 hours. He suggests
using only unpeeled carrots and onions, which he believes adds color to the broth. Other recipes call
for beef shank, or neck. Martha Stewart uses 1/2 cup wine in addition to water.
This recipe is a fusion of several recipes.Before proceeding, read these simple tips gleaned from
all my sources:
~Start cooking with cold water.
~Clarify cooked stock by adding a beaten egg white and a little water with crushed egg shells; or,
by using unpeeled vegetables; or, by adding a couple tablespoons of vinegar. If using eggs,
allow one egg per quart of water.
~If consomme or aspic is the goal, do NOT boil stock. Slow, steady simmering is essential to
extract flavorful juices from meat bones. The coils on our stove are closer than normal for canning
purposes. The down side: they heat quickly and more intensely. Start with cold water, begin a medium to
low temperature setting, and keep lid tilted to allow heat and steam to escape, preventing liquid
from coming to a boil.
~Do not add salt to stock until ready to use in recipes. Storage, use of wine, reduction of stock
in cooking, all tend to intensify salt, according to Joy of Cooking.
~Use steel, metal, or other heavy pot. Avoid aluminum, since it may affect clarity of stock.
~Use less water and fewer vegetables to make a dark stock. Roast bones before making stock.
~Scum from top of broth can be skimmed, but Joy of Cooking says stocks used for
brown sauces should not be skimmed.
~Use two layers of cheesecloth inside a strainer to strain broth. Squeeze well to extact all
~Roasting the bones is well worth the extra time. Otherwise, the stock should cook for 12 hours.
~Stock can be frozen for several months. If time is a problem, Jeff Smith suggests
bringing soup to heavy simmer and placing it in a 225º oven overnight.
5 lbs meat bones, roasted for two hours in a 400º oven. Do not allow to blacken.
2 yellow onions, with peel, sliced
3 carrots, with peel, sliced
fresh parsley if available
Inner leafy core of a bunch of celery
1 t thyme
1 bay leaf
5 qts water
Place bones and water in a large stockpot.
Add cold water and slowly bring to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes.
Add vegetables, spices, and herbs and simmer very slowly for at least six hours. Remember
to keep lid ajar and watch closely to avoid boiling.
Clarify using above suggestions after broth is strained. Simmer for another 10-15 minutes, then
set aside to cool. Skim broth carefully or push it aside and ladle it into a fine strainer.