Oh my goodness! If you want your house to smell AMAZING, make your own beef stock. And while I will admit that I use prepared stock – chicken, vegetable and beef – all the time, whenever I do make my own stock, I am in raptures and can’t believe I don’t do it all the time. The taste difference is incredible and the amount of protein that you derive just from the stock is much higher than even the best stock you can buy. The real barrier for me is not time since the active time in making beef stock is minimal; it’s space. I have a small kitchen with an average fridge and small freezer. However, once the temperature starts dropping and that wind is blowing off of the lake, I am making soup every week.
After I tell you how to make this wonderfully rich stock, I’ll show you how to make a delicious Italian Barley soup from it. Now you could make the soup with commercial stock. You could even keep it Vegan by using a vegetable stock – and it will be good – very good even. However, if you want it to be great, make your own stock. Becasue this stock is so rich, a little goes a long way and you will almost always cut it with some water.
Yield: About 5 quarts
5 pounds of beef rendering bones, stripped of all meat (This used to be the kind of thing that butchers just gave away, so was incredibly frugal. Alas, those days are gone.)
3 large yellow onions, quartered, with skins left on (it gives wonderful color to the stock)
1 bunch celery, chopped into thirds
5 quarts of water
- Heat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place your bones on a heavy duty pan with 2-3 inch sides. You can use a disposable pan set on a baking pan or just line your pan with foil for easier clean-up.
- Place them in the oven for up to 2 hours, but be careful that they don’t burn. You want them toasty brown not black. Mine only took about 1.25 minutes this time. Every oven is different.
- In a large heavy duty pot or Dutch Oven with a tight fitting lid, place all of the veggies in the pot and add the bones and water. Bring to a heavy simmer, cover, and place in a 225 degree F oven for 12 hours or overnight.
- That’s IT! All you need to do is discard everything but the liquid when it has cooled and you are ready to go. Using a strainer over a bowl makes this easy work. This is so rich it will gel in the fridge. You can freeze some in ice cube trays for when you need small amounts, and freeze or store in the fridge the rest in one quart containers.