Cue the Salt n’ Pepa theme song..”Lets talk about….BONES baaaby. Let’s talk about you and me. Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things there may be. Let’s talk about……………bones.” That’s not exactly how the song goes, but for this post, it’ll do! Let’s talk about all the good things about beef bones. Bones are full of goodies such as collagen (great for joints, skin/hair/nails, and gut support), glucosamine (hello joint health), amino acids (muscle recovery and energy), and glycine (sleep better/feel better) as well as an array of other nutrients.
Beef stock is the building block for brown sauces. This stock is considered a brown stock simply by the fact that we are roasting the bones, so that would hold true for any stock that you make (check the chicken stock from one of my last posts). I can’t see making a beef stock without that step but it is done (although not in any kitchen I’ve ever worked). Browning adds flavor. The sugars in the protein caramelize when hit by that high heat and give you that sticky icky goodness that adds so much flavor and depth to the stock. This is a pretty basic stock recipe except for the fact that I’m throwin’ it in the crock pot for it’s six hour cook time. Stock pot on the stove? Ain’t nobody got no time fo’ dat!
I ended up talking to the butcher the other day when I couldn’t find the bones I was looking for. He was in the middle of cutting up some short loins to make the steaks that were on sale. I asked where I could find the marrow bones and he replied, “You need some soup bones?” “Well, what do you consider soup bones?” I asked. “Gimme a few minutes, and I’ll be right out,”he answered. About five minutes later the meat door swings open and he’s standing there with the skeleton of a short loin he just fabricated. “Hmmmmmmm…I’ll take it.” The bones were beautiful and he left a good bit of meat on the bones still which I ended up throwing in a casserole (recipe for that will be posted shortly). I would still recommend throwing in a couple of marrow bones to get nice body in this stock. You’ll know once it cools whether or not you’ve achieved “gelatinous” success. Cuz ain’t nothin’ jiggles like the jiggle of a finely made stock. Seriously, looks like jello.
So here’s the recipe. And it will serve as the base for my next two soups (which I’m very excited about:) ) It makes about 10 cups that I (as usual) froze into 2 cup serving bags in my freezer.
Dem Bones Dem Bones Dem Beef Bones Stock:
5 lbs beef bones (I used short loin) and a couple of marrow bones (or knuckle) as well
3 carrots peeled and roughly chopped
3 celery roughly chopped
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and roughly chopped
3 ounces tomato paste
4 parsley stems
6-8 sprigs thyme
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon peppercorns
Wrap all ingredients in cheesecloth and tie either with twine or bundle cloth and tie in a knot (what I do).
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly oil roasting pan and fill with bones. Roast bones about 40 minutes, turning once during cooking time. Remove bones from oven and place in large crockpot. I’m using a 3 1/2 quart Crockpot that this recipe fit in beautifully.In the same roasting pan add cut up veggies and tomato paste and stir together to coat with fat leftover from the bones and paste. Place back in oven and roast for 15 minutes or until veggies are browned. Remove from oven and place in crockpot with bones. Cover bones barely ( I used 16 cups cold water) and toss in bouquet garni. Cover pot and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. I skim the surface every couple of hours to remove excess fat and impurities from the stock. Once the time is up, strain the stock and set in an ice bath in the sink to cool. Refrigerate to let cool fully and then store in proper containers or freeze. The stock can be stored in the fridge for 3 to 5 days and in the freezer for up to 6 months. Here’s a little pic of my finished stock icing it’s way to coolness:) It smelled wonderful and tasted so good. It’s really going to make my French Onion Soup a star in my next recipe post.
A Couple of notes to add as well. It is best to source your bones from a reputable butcher if possible. Organic (antibiotic and hormone free), grass fed (and allowed to roam the pastures freely) cow meat/bones are always your best choice because they’re not only a healthier choice, they’re higher in Omega-3’s.
It does take a little love and a lot of time to make stock. It’s also pretty common nowadays to find not too many chefs making it from scratch anymore. If you want all the flavor of homemade stock but just don’t have the time to invest, check out this stock base you can purchase online. This brand has always been very good for me to use in a pinch and you can’t beat the price! Give it a whirl and holla back at me below with how you liked it! Hopefully you can try the stock above. Just make sure to come back and let me know what you thought about it.