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Easy Beef Stock

(recipe, Kelly Myers)


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Introduction

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.

Ingredients

  1. 1 small boneless beef shank (about 2 pounds)
  2. 3 lb. beef or veal leg and knuckle bones (see Note)
  3. 3 medium yellow onions, skins on, root hairs removed, and halved
  4. 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut in 4-inch lengths
  5. 2 stalks celery, scrubbed, trimmed, and cut in 4-inch lengths
  6. 2 leeks, cut in half crosswise, split lengthwise, and rinsed
  7. 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  8. 2 to 3 cups button mushrooms, rinsed
  9. 1 cup dry red wine
  10. 1 bay leaf
  11. 4 canned tomatoes
  12. 6 parsley stems
  13. 2 sprigs fresh thyme

Steps

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Note

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.