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Beef Stock

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:

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

10 peppercorns
1 t thyme
1 bay leaf
3 cloves

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.