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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Stock making, part 3

This is my 2nd attempt to make beef stock. I used the same basic method, with some changes.

Last time I used the bones from my spare rib dinner, but they didn't have enough meat on them. Beef shank bones are best.

I put the meaty bones in a cast iron skillet, drizzled with olive oil, black pepper, into the oven.

Last time, I roasted the bones at 400; This time at 300, so I could roast the bones and veggies at the same time, and I didn't want them charred.

I quartered some onions, carrots and celery*. On a cast iron pizza pan, drizzled olive oil, black pepper, into the oven at 300 along with the bones.

*Twice as many onions as carrots and celery. I had planned to use garlic cloves, but forgot them.

Roasted both for an hour, turned off the oven and let them cool.

I took the bones out of the pan, and put them in a cast iron pot. I poured off the excess fat, deglazed* with cold** water, and added the liquid to the pot. Then added the veggies to the pot.

*The first time, there was nothing on the pan to deglaze, because the bones had no meat.

**Liquid for stock needs to be cold.

For additional liquid, I took some leftover vegetable soup from the fridge, and strained the liquid from that. Added some ice, and a little more cold water.

The goal is for the liquid level to be 3/4 of the bones and veggies. The first time, I had covered the bones and veggies with water, and did not make sure it was cold.

Added italian seasonings, bay leaves, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, minced garlic and dried onion flakes.

Once the liquid reached a near boil, reduced it to low. I simmered uncovered for 5 hours, then decided to let it simmer all night; I felt that would be more safely done in a crock pot, so I transferred the contents and set it to low.

So I turned off the crock pot this morning, let it cool, removed the bones and veggies with a slotted spoon, strained through a medium strainer into a stainless steel pot*, stuck in the refrigerator.

Once it cools, hopefully it will have formed into a gel. If it remains liquid, then it's a BROTH, not a stock. Either way, I will skim off the fat, allow it to liquefy at room temperature if gelled, strain the 2nd time through a fine strainer*, and go from there.

*1st strain is through a medium strainer; 2nd and 3rd, through a fine strainer.


  1. Channeling Matt:

    "This sounds like it should work. You used a lot more seasonings than I would have, but whatever works to your taste. I would fear it might be a little too salty, is all. I will stay tuned to find how it turns out.

    I have the encyclopedic work by James Peterson. The title is Sauces, Classical and Contemporary Sauce Making. This is a large book with more than anyone would ever want to know about this end of the culinary arts. I highly recommend it for anyone seriously interested in pursuing the fascinating endeavor of stock making. I've had it for years, but I would assume it would be available on Amazon."

  2. It's indeed on Amazon, currently for $32.97 with free shipping. Thanks!