The Magic of Broths: Beef Stock
- 6 1/2 pounds beef marrow bones, cut into sections or in half lengthwise
- 2 1/4 pounds beef scraps from lean meat
- 2 1/4 pounds oxtail, cut into sections
- 1 pound shallots, trimmed and cut in half
- 1 large head of garlic, cut in half
- 1 medium leek, washed and cut in half
- 4 celery stalks, washed and broken in two
- 5 medium carrots, dirt removed, cut into chunks
- 1 medium turnip, sliced
- 1 small bunch of flat-leaf parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 handful of thyme
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 level tablespoon (1/4 ounce) porcini mushroom powder (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Put the beef marrow bones, beef scraps, oxtail, shallots, and garlic on the baking sheets and bake for 1 hour, until caramelized and brown.
Transfer the baked ingredients to the stockpot and top with the rest of the ingredients. Fill with enough water to just cover the ingredients.
Bring just to a boil and simmer for 12 hours over very low heat.
Keep a watchful eye on the stock as it simmers. As the liquid evaporates, the stock will increase in temperature -- you want to keep it gently bubbling and not boiling.
Decant through a large strainer into a voluminous bowl or saucepan and then further decant into airtight containers.
Chill in a sink half filled with cold water to take the edge off the heat and, once at room temperature, place in the fridge where it will store for up to a week.
About this recipe
"Much of the flavor in this stock is derived from the roasting of the bones. All the ingredients are available in butcher shops and supermarkets, although you may need to order the marrow bones in advance. Even though the total cooking time -- 12 hours -- for this timeless classic is lengthy, the actual preparation time is minimal, leaving you free to get on with your day. I get my stock going first thing in the morning and decant off the broth last thing at night so that I don’t have to fret about it boiling away as I sleep. The main thing is not to worry about it: it is what it is. Beef broth is not fussy, just a jumble of meat and vegetables giving up their goodness for you. And whenever my friends ask me what the secret of a good stock is, I tell them that simmering is good, boiling is bad. Patience is paramount! You will need two large baking sheets and an extra large stockpot -- at least 10-quart capacity." -- Nick Sandler