Homemade Beef Stock

Homemade beef stock serves as the base for French onion soup, but sherry, thyme, and, of course, caramelized onions give this classic soup its flavor.

  • Yield: Makes 6 quarts
Homemade Beef Stock

Photography: ANITA CALERO

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, March Spring 2008

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Fill the sink with ice water. 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.

  5. 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.

Cook's Notes

This homemade beef stock will keep in the freezer for up to 4 months. A butcher's shop can cut veal bones into small pieces for you.

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