By Riki Shore
I have a confession to make: I’d never made beef stock before yesterday.
I wasn’t even sure I’d like eating it.
But we’d amassed pounds of bones and an enormous knuckle in the freezer, and it was time to do something with them.
Thinking of all the healthy gelatin and fat – not to mention flavor – the bones contained, I went looking for a recipe for beef stock.
Primal Cuts is an amazing resource for all things meat-related. Compiled by Marissa Guggiana, it features recipes and stories from “America’s best butchers”. Ignoring the butcher-as-sinister-rock-star photos and the tougher-than-nails tone, you’ll find amazing recipes, both innovative and traditional, all of them appealing in the depths of winter.
Morgan Maki of Bi-Rite Market in San Francisco contributed a stock recipe, which I followed almost to a T. I changed amounts of some ingredients based on what I had in my fridge, and I’ve written it as I made it.
Homemade beef stock, it turns out, is delicious. It fills the house with the most wonderful aroma. And the next day, you can use it to make all kinds of things, like beef stew, brisket, and soup. The stock cooks all day, but the active time is only about 40 minutes.
4.5 pounds beef bones
3 yellow onions
1 pound carrots
1 head celery
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 cup dry white wine
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cook the bones in a roasting tray for about 30 minutes, until they’re browned.
2. Meanwhile, peel the carrots and coarsely chop them, the onions and the celery.
3. Remove the bones from the oven. Place them in a stock pot along with the veggies and peppercorns. Cover with cold water and turn the heat to medium-high.
4. Pour the wine over the bottom of the roasting tray and place over medium heat. Deglaze the pan, scraping up the caramelized bits, and reducing the liquid by half. Pour this into the stock pot and stir.
5. Just before the stock boils, you’ll notice a layer of foam on the top. Skim the foam and reduce the heat to low. You want the stock to stay at a very gentle simmer (I used the lowest setting on my stove). Continue to skim as needed and cook for 6 – 8 hours.
6. Turn off the heat. Scoop out the bones and larger pieces of veggies. Strain the stock into a bowl set in an ice bath. Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate. You can use the stock the next day, keep it refrigerated for up to 4 days, or freeze it for up to 1 month. This made 6 – 7 cups of stock.