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Beef stock

July 8, 2011

I was thinking about making some soup as I passed Dom’s Quality Meats. Then I saw the sign stuck on the refrigerator cabinet advertising beef bones for stock, $2.99kg.

While I regularly make chicken stock from the chicken frames I get from Emerald Hill Poultry for $1 a bag, I don’t often produce beef stock.

“How big are the bones?” I asked.

“Ah,” the butcher reassured me with a cheery smile. “We’ve sawed them into small pieces.”

About $3.50 worth - some with meat - fitted nicely in the roasting pan after being drizzled with a little olive oil. In went a few chunks of peeled onion, some nice fat sliced garlic cloves, a couple of carrots and parsnips cut into chunks and some lengths of celery.

I roasted the bones and vegetables at 200C for about an hour then placed them and the browned onion in the deep basket in my pasta pot and covered them with water. While it came to the boil I poured some water in the roasting pan and eased off all the brown pan drippings and added that lot to the pot as well.

A few more fresh carrots and parsnips, onion and garlic, celery stalks and tops, bay leaves and fresh herbs and my cauldron was left to simmer away gently for four hours.

Once it had cooled down I put the pot in the fridge overnight, having discarded the basket of bones and vegetables. Next day I skimmed off the layer of fat that had set then poured the stock through double kitchen towels sitting in a sieve over a large pot.

I ended up with several containers of stock which are now in the freezer waiting to be used in soups over the next month or two.

I also made a couple of trays of ice blocks from the stock – handy for sauces and reductions.

Beef stock is well worth the small effort it takes to make. It virtually looked after itself while I went about my chores then watched TV.

Eat your heart out, Marco Pierre White!


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