Happiness is Easy

Beef Stock

In the pictures above are everything you need to make a solid beef stock: As many beef bones as you have or care to buy (but at least a few pounds), and an assortment of carrots, celery, just about any type of onion, but especially your basic sweet onion, some peppercorns, some herbs, and that just about does it. Easy on the herbs–you don’t want to over-power the beef flavor. However, go nuts with the carrots and etc., the more the merry and intense the stock, a rule of thumb is 2 carrots and 1 onion for every lb. of bone, but it’s not the end of the world if you can’t live up to those measurements. If possible, try to make some of your bones Marrow Bones, and the rest can be whatever you can get. if you eat a lot of ribs, save those up, they’re perfect for stock. If you use marrow bones, don’t do this to them: Roast all of the other bones in a 400+ degree oven for 20 minutes. Chop up all of the vegetables and put them in the pot, scraps and all, provided the vege is fresh fresh fresh, otherwise discard. Don’t use anything too far beyond it’s life-term. Pack them into a large pot, as big as you can get (and this point may in fact limit your stock production–keep it in mind!) and then, once the bones have roasted, pile them into the pot, as well. Fill the pot with cold water, bring it up above the bones, but only just barely. Set it on a burner, and bring up to a simmer very slowly. As it begins to simmer, this brow muck will rise to the top. You don’t want that. Skim it off and fling it into the sink. That’ll stop rising eventually, and at that point, all you have to do is maintain a giddy simmer on the brink of a boil for HOURS. I’d let it go for 3 to 4, but a good stock is an artform, and you know what makes you happy.

Once it’s done simmering, strain it through like a big pasta strainer or something, and then strain it again through a fine-mesh strainer (lined with cheese-cloth if you want to be bourgeois-servant about it– I am), and that’s it. If you let it chill in the fridge, this layer of fat will rise to the top, which you can skin off. If that doesn’t bother you, set aside what you think you’ll use and freeze the rest. Beef Stock is Easy.