Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Simple & Easy Beef Stock #10w5 - 9

I have been making my own stock for several years now , with varied successes...   the last few batches though have been great , and Ive stopped buying store bought .   I just make a big batch and freeze it into different sized bags or containers.   That way If i only need a cup , I just take out one cups worth. I have not tried making one with only 5 ingredients before .. ( its usually closer to ten with herbs )  which ones  do I choose , which ones should i leave out ??  The herbs I decided could be added later , which really brought me down to 6 ingredients... still to many :( It was a toss up between carrots, celery and garlic...   Garlic is my all time fav , so that stayed ...  It was a tough choice, in the end I let a coin choose for me , and carrots it was.

Ingredients Required : Makes 5 litres

5lbs of beef bones - Frozen is fine
3 large carrots
6 or 7 medium onions
1 head of garlic
10 litres of water

For something so simple to make I sure took a LOT of photos during this process,  I have condensed a few of the shots.  The order is Top Left , Top Right, Bottom Left , Bottom Right.

NO need to defrost the bones , if they are frozen,  just put them on a baking tray for 10 minutes in the 350F oven ,  the separate and add 3 halved onions, and a half a head of garlic, drizzle with sunflower oil , and give it a few pinches of sea salt.  Into the oven for about 45 minutes, it should look something like the bottom left picture.  Get your biggest pot out, I have a 20Quart one i use for stocks and canning.  

While the bones are roasting ,  peel your carrots ( skip this if you have organic ones, which I don't this time of year )   and chop into large pieces.  Quarter the onions ( skins on is fine )  and dice the garlic.

Add them to the pot, with a splash of oil, I started with med/low heat while I got things going .

Ahh the GOOD stuff , roasted garlic :)  The trick here is to cut the tips off before roasting , then you can grab it by the root and squeeze out the garlic :) Into the stock pot . 

Everything goes into the pot , raw and roasted .

Don't forget to deglaze the roasting pan , I simply used 500ml of boiling water, and a wooden spoon.  

Look at all that goodness that came off the pan,  I could have saved this an made some amazing gravy ..  but its stock making day !  There was actually double this amount recovered.  

Okay , back to the stock pot.  Add the deglazed liquid and 10 litres of water . I used boiling water to get things moving quicker, by simply refilling my kettle 6 times. 
Water was just added,  you will want to add a few pinches of salt now, and a some cracked black pepper.  Bring it to a boil and simmer , on med/low for about 3 hours.   Skim the surface occasionally, and give it a stir to prevent anything burning on the bottom. After its been simmering for about  a hour , you will want to start taste testing when you stir, to correct the salt and pepper levels.  Add it in small increments is best. You don't have to but I refrigerated this over night when i was done, and skimmed off 95% of the fat that rose to the surface.    

I removed all the large pieces to a baking tray with tongs , then used my smaller stock pot as a catch basin, and strained with a mesh and metal strainer. Then strained it again through some cheese cloth into my biggest measuring cup I had to repeat this three times as it holds 8cups ( 2 litres ) 

I like to use Medium HD freezer bags,  always mark your bag before filling, with whats in it , the date and how much  is in the bag.  I used a second measuring cup as a holder,  and marked, measured and poured until I was through all 5 litres.  I still have several one cups sizes in the freezer so I filled most of these to 4 cups (1L) 

That's it !!  While it is a fairly lengthy process , about 4 1/2 hours start to finish, there is not very much work involved.  A little bit of prep in the beginning , and a quick stir every 30 -45 minutes, and 15 minutes of  straining and bagging at the end.   But Ive put away 6 bags full of stock, that I can use for soups, stews, stir fry's, curries and many more dishes.  I hope you have enjoyed this post :)
Happy Cooking !