Sunday, November 11, 2007

taking stock of the situation

Yesterday I made my first attempt at beef stock. Let me tell you up front, it wasn't a total success. But, here's what I did...

Got some beef...specifically some beef marrow bones and a couple beef soup bones. They all had quite a bit of meat on them. In total it was about 6 lbs. of beef all together.

Roasted the beef.

Covered the beef with water in a stock pot, brought everything near a simmer, then put the pot in the oven and kept the stock at a constant temp between 180-190F.

After 4 hours, I added some lightly roasted vegetables...specifically 4 carrots, 2 celery stalks, 1 yellow onion, 2 shallots and 4 cloves of garlic. i also added a small handful of whole black peppercorns. I brought all this back up to a simmer, then put it back in the oven for another hour.

I strained the stock once through just a strainer, then again through some cheese cloth.

Here is the final result.

It was really quite clear. However, the flavor was pretty weak. I used way too much water, and probably could have used more bones to make it richer. While I was dancing my feets off at my reunion, Jack stayed home and boiled the heck out of the stock until it reduced by nearly half! That improved the flavor big time.

So, like I said, not the results I'd hoped for, but I'll chalk it up as an important learning experience. I see the value of making your own stock for sure (Ruhlman kept telling us in his class that he would rather us use water than canned broth), but it is something you need to work at.


KELLY said...

Hi, Stef!

I made beef stock the other day for the first time, but I made it in the CROCKPOT and let it cook overnight. The result was a meaty, dark stock that was so easy!

Here's what I did:
Roast four soup bones and a couple onions, carrots, & garlic cloves in the oven (at 350) with a little olive oil, salt & pepper for 30 minutes, turning the bones after 15 minutes. All of this then went into the crockpot with celery, peppercorns, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, salt, & enough water to almost cover everything. I set the crockpot on low and let it simmer overnight (at least 12 hours).

P.S. Thanks for adding a link to my blog!!

2nd-favorite said...

I know this was posted a while ago but thought I would leave a comment just the same. I just started making beef stock at home as well.
If you are looking for more flavor I have found that more meat, rather than more bones is the secret. The bones add gelatin (hydrolyzed collagen) which is important for texture. Let it all go for at least 12 hours, especially if on the stove top instead of the crock.
Also, try brushing the bones with tomato paste before roasting. Great post. Nice to see that there are other people out there willing to take on home made beef stock.