I know that beef stock is a really strange Valentine’s Day post, but I can totally explain. Starting at the beginning of this week all anyone could talk about was how it was how it is going to snow in Atlanta again. They spoke of how there were going to be massive power outages and, essentially, life as we know it would be temporarily over. In light of the impending Atlanta Wintergate 2.0 I felt it would be foolish to bake cupcakes (what I really wanted to post today). We could potentially be without power for several days! Wouldn’t it be more prudent to make beef stock? I could make some hearty dishes that we could survive on when the insane weather struck? Indeed.
So here we are with Homemade Beef Stock. Happy Valentine’s Day!
I don’t watch too many cooking shows (shocking, right?!), but recently I started watching Martha Stewart’s Cooking School. There is something about Martha that makes me want to do everything better. And more beautifully.
In one recent show on onions she made French Onion Soup with homemade beef stock. My Husband and I will drive 45 minutes to eat our favorite French Onion Soup in Atlanta. No, seriously. It’s that good! Well that got me thinking, if I am so in love with homemade chicken stock, wouldn’t homemade beef stock be just as good!
After that I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I started thinking of all the yummy dinners I could make with this rich, luscious beef broth.
Martha’s recipe calls to roast the vegetables, bones and meat prior to simmering, which means dirtying an extra pan, but I am here to tell you it was so worth it! The flavor is deep, rich, and complex. The wine, vegetables, beef and veal flavors all meld together to create a magnificent stock.
I loved being able to make it salt-free, because beef stock (and French Onion Soup) is known for being almost unbearably salty and often bland.
I will never buy beef stock again. Never. I’ve already frozen half of it using the same method I describe here, so that I will always have the perfect portion on hand!
You will see this stock starring in some pretty spectacular dishes very soon.
The flavor of this Beef Stock is deep, rich, and complex. The flavors from the wine, vegetables, beef and veal bones all meld together to create a magnificent stock that will put any store-bought variety to shame!
8 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
8 sprigs fresh thyme or ¾ teaspoon dried thyme
6 sprigs fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
Preheat oven to 450°. Tie all herbs together. Martha says to make a bouquet garni with cheesecloth, but she’s an overachiever. Seriously.
Arrange meat, veal bones and vegetables in a single layer in a large roasting pan. Roast, turning every 20 minutes, until the vegetables and bones are a deep brown, about 1 ½ hours.
Transfer meat, bones, and vegetables to a large stockpot and set aside.
Discard fat from the roasting pan, and place pan over high heat on the stove. Add wine, and use a flat wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits; boil until wine has reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Pour all liquid into the stockpot with the bones.
Add 6 quarts of cold water, or more to cover the bones, to the stockpot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Add the herbs. Simmer over the lowest possible heat for 3 hours. Discard the skin that forms on top of the liquid.
Strain the stock through cheesecloth or a fine sieve over a large bowl. Discard the solids and cool to room temperature. Cover and 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 (I didn’t do this either.). Before using skim the fat layer off the surface.
Note: I halved this recipe because I didn’t have a stock pot big enough!
You can find my method of freezing perfect ½ cup portions of stock here!