Homemade Beef Stock
Homemade beef stock is far superior to store-bought, canned versions. Ask your butcher to saw the veal bones into smaller pieces.
- 8 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme or 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 pound beef-stew meat, cubed
- 5 pounds veal bones, sawed into smaller pieces
- 1 large onion, peel on, quartered
- 2 large carrots, cut into thirds
- 2 stalks celery, cut into thirds
- 2 cups dry red wine
Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Make a bouquet garni by wrapping parsley, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, and peppercorns in a piece of cheesecloth. Tie with kitchen twine, and set aside. Arrange meat, veal bones, onion, carrots, and celery in an even layer in a heavy roasting pan. Roast, turning every 20 minutes, until the vegetables and the bones are deep brown, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer the meat, bones, and vegetables to a large stockpot, and set aside. Pour off the fat from the roasting pan, and discard. Place the pan over high heat on the stove. Add wine, and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits; boil until the wine has reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Pour all of the liquid into the stockpot.
Add 6 quarts of cold water to the stockpot, or more if needed to cover bones. Do not add less water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a very gentle simmer. Add the reserved bouquet garni. Liquid should just bubble up to surface. Skim the foam from the surface, and discard. Simmer over the lowest possible heat for 3 hours; a skin will form on the surface of the liquid; skim off with a slotted spoon, and discard. Repeat as needed. Add water if at any time the level drops below the bones.
Strain the stock through a fine sieve into a large bowl. Discard the solids. Transfer the bowl to an ice bath, and let cool to room temperature. Transfer to airtight containers. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight. Stock may be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 4 months. If storing, leave fat layer intact to seal the stock. Before using, remove the fat that has collected on the surface.