Friday, July 23, 2010

Beef Stock

I'm going to be making French Onion Soup and decided that I'd make my own beef stock instead of using store-bought. I must confess that I'm a bit nervous about the soup. The one and only time I had it was in Paris near the Eiffel Tower and it was awful. Granted, I was in an expensive tourist trap, but I had hoped for better. To really pull off a great French Onion Soup, I wanted to start with an excellent base.

     This recipe produces such a nice stock. The difference between home-made chicken stock and store-bought is pretty significant, but with beef stock the difference is worlds apart. There's just no comparison.

     One thing that was really great about this stock was that my oldest son, Ben, helped to pick the herbs for the bouquet garni and assisted in its assembly. I hope he learns to turn his back to fast food as that industry has systematically destroyed small farms in America and has led to obscene rates of obesity.

Beef Stock

Yield1 quart

2 pounds soup bones (see notes)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 medium onion, skin on and quartered
1 leek, trimmed, rinsed and roughly chopped
1 whole clove
6 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
1 cup red wine
2 quarts water
3 sprigs thyme, 3 sprigs parsley, a bay leaf and 6 black peppercorns in a bouquet garni

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Brush beef bones with 1 tablespoon of oil and season with salt and pepper. Place into Le Creuset and roast until browned, about 30 minutes.

3. Brush tomato paste over bones and roast for 20 more minutes.

4. Add carrots, celery, onions, leeks, cloves and garlic with remaining oil and roast for 20 more minutes.

5. Transfer bones and vegetable to a large pot. Deglaze Le Creuset with red wine over medium heat, then pour juice into pot with the beef and vegetables.

6. Add bouquet garni and 2 quarts of water. Simmer over low heat for 3 hours or until reduced by half. Skim any foam that collects at the surface.

7. Strain stock and discard solids. Cool stock in an ice bath, then cover and place in refrigerator. When cool, skim congealed fat.

I used something called soup bones from my local Ralphs. It featured a few bones with plenty of meat on them, which is important when it comes time to brown the beef in Le Creuset.

Summer, 2009; I freaking loved France.

No comments:

Post a Comment