Beef Stock 101
Beef stock is a slight practice in patience, but let me tell you - it is well worth the wait. When we throw away bones, we are throwing away a whole host of nutritional goodness in the lost calcium and other minerals.
The health benefits of beef stock are well documented, not to mention the soothing warm that can wash over a body when it is sipped like coffee. Here are a few basic uses:
- As a base for soup & stew
- In a mug by itself as a warm drink
- As a base for gravy and sauce
- Cook veggies in it for extra nutrients
- Dehydrate to make your own veggies
In any rate, it tastes and acts like liquid gold. Savanna and I made a big beautiful batch the other day, took a few amateur photographs, and wanted to share. Here goes; enjoy!
Beef Stock 101
Honest Beef bones are packaged in 3lb packages; Savanna and I decided that for the size of batch we were going to make (12 cups), 3lbs was plenty.
We allowed them to thaw a bit, then took them out of the freezer and laid them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
This was Sav's first rodeo with beef bones, as indicated by her pinky-test above.
We set the oven to 450°F, salted, and roasted them for about 30 minutes. These puppies were quite meaty, as you can tell, and that is a-okay! The meat will be falling off the bone by the end, and it gives the stock additional flavor.
After coarsely cutting carrots, celery, and onions, we scattered them across the baking pan, and roasted for another 10 minutes.
The third and final roasting stage involved spreading tomato paste over everything, and giving the whole sheet another 5 minutes in the oven.
After transferring all of our slathered and roasted veggies & beef from the baking sheet to a large stock pot, we covered everything with cold water, and added our spices and herb stems. We set the stove to medium and brought this whole concoction to a simmer.
And then we waited.
And waited....and waited. For about 3 hours. It also happened to be Halloween, so there was a host of very excited children in the house...thus the pot on the least accessible burner.
After 3 hours of simmering, we strained the broth away from the veggies into a big bowl and let it cool for a time.
Don't feel like you have to transfer the stock to adorable little mason jars with twine bows and stickers, but hey, if you want to, that's cool.
- 3 pounds beef bones
- ½ bunch celery, coarsely chopped
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 4 medium carrots, scrubbed, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 head of garlic, cloves thinly sliced
- 1 bunch herb stems (such as parsley, cilantro, and/or thyme)
- 4 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
- ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
- Preheat oven to 450°. Roast bones on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet 30 minutes. Arrange celery, onion, and carrots on sheet; roast 10 minutes. Spread tomato paste over bones and vegetables and roast 5 minutes more; let cool.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a small saucepan over medium and cook garlic, shaking pan occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Immediately strain oil through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl; set aside garlic.
- Transfer bones and vegetables to a large pot; pour in cold water to cover. Add herb stems, bay leaves, peppercorns, coriander seeds, and reserved garlic. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, skimming fat and foam from surface, until caramel colored and flavorful, about 3 hours.
- Strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing on solids; discard solids.
Use within a few days, or freeze for up to 3 months!