Tuesday, July 24, 2007

How to Make Beef Stock

Canned beef broths always seem to have a strange tinny taste and they are just incomparable to homemade broths and stocks. For the best flavor, use a combination of oxtails and beef ribs. Homemade beef stock is essential for soups that rely heavily on the beefy flavor for which canned beef broth is not an adequate substitute like French onion soup and beef noodle soups.

Note: Sometimes I use only beef ribs for the soup because they are really cheap ($1/lb) and oxtails are more expensive.

Homemade Beef Stock
3 lbs of beef ribs (Optional: supplemented with some oxtails for 3 lbs total)
1 onion, roughly chopped
Carrot and a few stalks of celery (optional)
1/2 C dry white wine
7 C of water
1 tsp peppercorns
1 - 2 bay leaves
1 - 2 springs of thyme

Roast the ribs and oxtails if using in a 450ºF oven until they are browned, about 30 - 45 minutes, flipping the bones halfway. Add the ribs to a stockpot with the vegetables and herbs.

Optional step: Deglaze the roasting pan with some white wine, scraping up the browned bits, and pour this into the stockpot as well. If you did not roast in a pan that can be used on a stovetop just pour the wine into the stockpot.

Add roughly 7 cups of cold water to the stockpot and bring the contents up to a boil then lower to a gentle simmer.

Simmer the stock for about 3 - 4 hours uncovered, skimming the broth of any scum that rises to the top.

After cooking, reserve the bones and all of the meat. Strain and discard the vegetables and herbs. Skim off the fat.

Optional: Remove the meat from the bones (it should be really fork tender) and shred it into the stock. I really like the beefy stock after you add in the meat.

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