received an email from Anna inquiring about making beef stock from soup bones.
I appreciate her willingness to make stock from scratch. Even though there is an
abundance of different forms of beef (or chicken/turkey/vegetable) stock on the
market, there is a richer, meatier/veggie flavor to homemade vs. commercial
stocks that produce a purer, more flavorful soup compared to any of those that
you can buy at the grocery!
it does take time (most of it unattended) to make a high quality, great tasting
stock, the benefits outweigh the effort because you control the salt, the fat
content and the additives.
two different types of soup bones that the butcher provides have similar uses
but different preparation methods:
small bones with a large quantity of meat left on the bone are for making soup:
simply sear the bone in a little olive oil on both sides, add water and simmer
for a couple of hours. Remove the bone, shred the meat and you have a great
beef soup base. This method may or may not produce a gelatinous broth. Season
the broth to taste as you make your soup.
bones with little or no meat left on the bone are for making stock: roast 4 #
beef bones for 2 hours, adding 2 chopped carrots, 2 chopped celery ribs, 2
chopped onions and 1 small can tomato paste after 1 hour. The quantity of
veggies and paste aren’t overly important- leftover peels and leaves work well
(keep a bag in the freezer of your veggie scraps until needed). Place roasted
bones, veggies, some whole peppercorns and a handful of fresh parsley sprigs
(stems included) in a stock pot and cover with water and simmer for up to 8
hours (minimum of 4), re-adding water to keep the bones covered. Strain,
discarding bones and veggies. Cool stock overnight, remove the hardened fat and
you should have a rich, full flavored, unsalted, gelatinous stock ready for
soups and sauces.
couple of quick soup ideas:
Onion soup- in a medium sized sauce pan, lightly brown 4 onions and 1 tsp
minced garlic in a little olive oil. Add 2 qts. homemade beef stock, season
with salt and pepper and fresh chopped parsley. Ladle into oven proof bowls,
top with a thick slice of crusty bread and shredded Swiss cheese. Bake at
350 degrees until golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Serve with a fresh salad.
Cheese soup- in a medium sized pan, sauté ½ c finely chopped onion for 2
minutes. Add 2 qts. homemade beef stock, bring to a boil, remove from heat
and whisk in 4 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper
and fresh chopped chives. Be careful not to bring to a boil once the cheese
has been added or the soup will break (the cheese will separate from the
broth and become a big blob stuck to your spoon). Serve with whole grain
Potato soup- simmer 2 # scrubbed, unpeeled Yukon or red potatoes and 1 tsp
minced garlic in 2 qts. homemade beef stock. Leave chunky, lightly mash for
smashed potato soup or puree smooth in a food processor or blender. Season
with salt and pepper and fresh chopped rosemary, sage and/or thyme. Serve
with cheese cubes and fresh fruit.
Pizza soup- combine 2 qts. homemade beef stock with 1 qt. pizza sauce, 3 c
chopped veggie pizza toppings of your choice (i.e. onion, mushrooms,
peppers, black olives, etc.) and 2 c cooked ground/diced meat of your choice
(sausage, hamburger, ham, etc.). Simmer until veggies are cooked, 5-10
minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in ¼ c fresh
pesto. Serve with crusty bread.