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Easy Beef Stock
(recipe, Kelly Myers)
I call this recipe easy for two reasons. First, it doesn’t require owning a stockpot. This stock just fits in an 8-quart pasta pot. Second, I have skipped roasting the bones at high heat, the usual first step to beef stock that can fill a kitchen with greasy splatter. I found that adding mushrooms, garlic, and leeks to the stock made up for any flavor missed by not caramelizing the bones.
- 1 small boneless beef shank (about 2 pounds)
- 3 lb. beef or veal leg and knuckle bones (see Note)
- 3 medium yellow onions, skins on, root hairs removed, and halved
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut in 4-inch lengths
- 2 stalks celery, scrubbed, trimmed, and cut in 4-inch lengths
- 2 leeks, cut in half crosswise, split lengthwise, and rinsed
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 to 3 cups button mushrooms, rinsed
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 canned tomatoes
- 6 parsley stems
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- Place beef shank and bones in a stockpot and cover with cold water by about 3 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat. Skim off foam and turn down to low, so that the stock just barely simmers. Add remaining ingredients and cook for 6 hours, occasionally pushing down any vegetables sitting on top.
- Strain through a fine-meshed sieve and allow stock to cool to room temperature in a shallow container before refrigerating. If you must refrigerate stock before it has cooled, leave it uncovered. Covering warm liquids slows cooling, and creates conditions for bacterial growth.
- Store stock in the refrigerator for up to one week. At that point, stock can be boiled for 3 minutes, chilled, and stored for another 3 days. Skim hardened fat off the surface before using the stock.
When buying knuckle bones, keep in mind the fact that veal has a more neutral, subtle flavor than beef.
*Read more about making stock in Kelly Myers' column about meat stocks.