Photo: Diana Bauman
Good beef stock must be made with several sorts of bones. Knuckle bones and feet impart large quantities of gelatin to the broth. Marrow bones impart flavor and the particular nutrients of bone marrow. And, meaty rib or neck bones add color and flavor.
- About 4 pounds beef marrow and knuckle bones
- 1 calf’s foot, ask your family farmer to reserve you a calf’s foot and have them cut it into 1 inch cubes (optional)
- 3 pounds meaty rib or neck bones
- 4 or more quarts cold filtered water
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 3 onions, chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 3 celery sticks, chopped
- several sprigs of fresh thyme, tied together
- 1 teaspoon dried green peppercorns, crushed
- 1 bunch parsley
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup red wine such as merlot or cabernet sauvignon
Photo: Diana Bauman
- Place the knuckle and marrow bones and optional calves foot in a very large pot with vinegar and cover with water. Let stand for one hour.
- Meanwhile, place the meaty bones in a roasting pan and brown at 350 degrees in the oven.
- When well browned, add to the pot along with the vegetables.
- Pour the fat out of the roasting pan and add 4 tablespoons of tomato paste and 1 cup of red wine to the pan, set over a high flame and bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon to loosen up coagulated juices.
- Add this liquid to the pot. Add additional water if necessary, to cover the bones, but the liquid should come no higher than within one inch of the rim of the pot, as the volume expands slightly during cooking.
- Bring to a boil. A large amount of scum will come to the top, and it is important to remove this with a spoon. After you have skimmed, reduce heat and add the thyme and peppercorns.
- Simmer stock for at least 12 hours and as long as 72 hours. Just before finishing, add the parsley and simmer another 10 minutes.
- Remove bones with tongs or a slotted spoon. Strain the stock into a large bowl.
- Let cool in the refrigerator and remove the congealed fat that rises to the top. Transfer to smaller containers and to the freezer for long-term storage.