Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Beef Stock situation, part 1

Soup stock has always been a bit of a mystery to me. I'm not sure why, but I have never really understood the science behind it. I know it is fairly easy and takes a long time to boil, but that has been the extent of my stock knowledge. Until recently. I have always wanted to explore making homemade soup stock and recently I did so. First I researched several recipes and methods including a phone call to my cooks-everything-from-scratch sister. The time allotted for boiling ranged anywhere from a mere four hours to a full 24-36 hour investment if you have a crock pot. I do not have a crock pot so I improvised a little. I started in the early afternoon and boiled for about eight hours. Then refrigerated everything and boiled around eight more hours the next day. But I am getting ahead of myself. First I collected the following ingredients:

Beef rib bones

1 Onion

2 Carrots

Some celery

2 cloves of garlic
and you are supposed to add about a quarter cup of vinegar or lemon juice to help leach all the calcium out of the bones.

Chop everything maybe once or twice. Don't bother peeling the onion or anything. Just throw it all in the pot with about 8 cups of water.

I brought all of this to a boil, put on a lid and turned it down to simmer. I regularly checked on it and kept adding a small amount of water as it boiled down. About four hours in, I realized that I had forgotten the vinegar. So I did. Of course having read so many recipes and heard so many suggestions, I accidentally added a cup and a half of vinegar. This is not recommended.

At this point I also drained out the veggies by pouring the stock into a strainer over a large bowl. I picked out the bones to add back in, but threw away the vegetables. I always thought this was a waste, but it turns out that all of the vitamins and what not have been leached into the broth/ water so now your stock is becoming really healthy and the vegetables have become pretty much useless. Yay. So I added the bones back it and put it all back on the stove, returned to a boil and put it back down to simmer some more.

Whew!

Once bedtime rolled around I let the broth cool, then poured it into a large bowl with a lid, bones and all and stuck it in the refridgerator.

The next morning I put it back in the pan, returned to boil and turned it back down to simmer for about another eight hours.

Stay tuned for part two!

1 comment:

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