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Beef Broth


porcupine
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What do you use for broth? I'm planning on making raviolo for xmas eve dinner and would love to serve them in a broth. however, this has always been the weakest link in my plan. Do you have a recipe, tips, anything?

Smokey, this one took a little detective work on my part, since my mom appears to have never written the recipe anywhere (and believe me, I've searched). It ain't quite right yet, but here's what I did yesterday:

Rinse assorted beef pieces and blanch in water til most of the gunk comes off. Rinse the beef and place in a clean pot, add carrots, celery, onion, parsley, canned tomatoes, a bay leaf, some peppercorns, and salt. Bring slowly to a simmer, and keep skimming until it's free of scum. Cook all day. Cool in refrigerator and don't remove all of the fat layer that forms on top (a lot of flavor is in there).

Quantities: about a pound each of soup bones, short ribs, back ribs, shank, and 3 pounds of chuck; half a pound of carrots, four large celery stalks with leaves, one large yellow onion, a big fistful of parsley, a 14 oz can of whole tomatoes.

The flavor is good but not quite strong enough, so my plan tomorrow is to simmer more beef (meat, not bones, since it has good texture already) in the broth I have to punch it up a bit.

If you try it please let me know how it comes out.

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I roast the bones and some short ribs for an hour or so before starting to make beef stock. The roasting adds some depth to the flavor of the stock. When I use a recipe, I've been using this one:

Low-Sodium Beef Stock

adapted from the Rittenhouse Cookbook (by Jim Coleman, Marilyn Cerino, and John Harrisson)

4 lbs. beef bones, in pieces

1 – 1 ½ lbs. beef short ribs (3 or 4 pieces, about 2" x 3" each)

3 - 4 quarts cold water

olive oil to sauté vegetables

1 onion, chopped

2 carrots, sliced

3 celery stalks, sliced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 bay leaf

1 sprig fresh thyme or ¼ tsp. dried thyme

5 peppercorns, crushed

¼ cup unsalted tomato paste, or 2 tomatoes, chopped

½ cup white wine

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

Wash the beef bones in cold water and place in a shallow roasting pan in a single layer, along with the short ribs. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer bones and short ribs to a stockpot and drain off the fat from the pan.

Pour 2 – 3 cups of the cold water into the roasting pan and deglaze over medium heat. Add deglazing liquid and remaining water to the stockpot with the bones and short ribs and bring to a simmer. (Add enough water just to cover the ingredients.)

In a sauté pan, sauté onions, carrots, celery and garlic in olive oil for 6-8 minutes over medium heat, until evenly browned. Add the vegetables to the stockpot with a slotted spoon, draining them, and then add the bay leaf, thyme, pepper, tomato paste, and wine. Bring stock back to a simmer and cook, uncovered, 6 to 8 hours, occasionally skimming the stock. Add water as needed to keep ingredients just covered.

Strain stock into a large bowl and let stand 15 minutes. (Discard bones and solids. Remove meat from short ribs and reserve for another use.) Skim the fat from the stock and then strain into a second bowl through cheesecloth. Refrigerate until the fat congeals on the surface, and then skim off the fat. Cover and store in refrigerator for 3 or 4 days or refrigerate up to 3 months.

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I roast the bones and some short ribs for an hour or so before starting to make beef stock. The roasting adds some depth to the flavor of the stock.

Definitely true; however, this is not supposed to be stock, but soup. Sounds like a minor difference, but when you float stuffed pasta in it you can tell. For a soup like this you don't want to roast anything first.

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Definitely true; however, this is not supposed to be stock, but soup. Sounds like a minor difference, but when you float stuffed pasta in it you can tell. For a soup like this you don't want to roast anything first.
Ah, yes. I didn't know what it was for. I didn't see what this thread got split off from/evolved from.
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Roasting beef bones deepens the flavor for making stock to use in soups and sauces. Heaven.

Cooks preparing Italian broths to ladle over stuffed pasta tend to deepen flavor by using mixed meats, instead.

For special occasions such as Christmas, capon is traditionally added to raw beef shanks/bones and the usual carrots, celery and onion. Some recipes call for a little tomato paste as in the stock recipe above, others any of the following: bay leaves, parsley sprigs, celery leaves, crushed garlic cloves. Because turkey wings, especially, are often substituted for capon these days, Lidia M Bastianich swears by using turkey instead of chicken for all poultry-based stocks and broths, finding the flavor richer.

Lynne Rossetto Kasper considers simmering a large batch for 12-14 hours essential to producing depth of flavor.

While my freezer's hoard of turkey and chicken broth is dwindling fast, I bet you could make really good brodo by simmering beef bones and a few fresh vegetables (etc.) in home-made chicken stock, adding a turkey wing and more water.

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I am making my first attempt at housemade beef stock today. To start I have placed 7 pounds of beef bones (cut into 2-3 inch pieces) in a roasting pan with 2 large red onions, 1 pound of carrots, 10 medium stalks of celery( all veggies roughly chopped), and tossed all in little oil and fresh ground pepper into a 400 degree oven for two hours. Next I added 7 qts of water (1 per pound of bones) to a large pot. I added the roasted bones and some liquid from deglazed the roasting pan (veggies are reserved) to the stock pot and put it (not covered) in a 190 degree oven for 10 hours. I plan on adding the roasted veggies, some parsley, pepper, and a few other items for the last 1 1/2 hours of cooking. (all this is ala M. Ruhlman's suggestions). I will then strain the stock through cheesecloth.

Q1) I took out 10 oz of fat from the roasting pan that I put into a tin to throw. Should I have added this to the stock pot? Would it have added any additional flavor? Yes, I realize that I could skim this off after the stock has been refrigerated.

Q2) Should I have roasted the veggies this long? The veggies look wonderful, but perhaps a little more cooked than I want. Can I mix additional fresh veggies with the roasted ones for more flavor?

Q3) Are the bones spent at the end of this time? Would a second stock (which would be weaker) really be worth it?(Remouillage: A second stock made from bones that have been used once for a primary stock in order to make complete use of the bones. It’s a weaker stock, of course, and is often added to the primary stock and reduced., M Ruhlman).

Q4) Any other questions I should be asking?

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Q3) Are the bones spent at the end of this time? Would a second stock (which would be weaker) really be worth it?(Remouillage: A second stock made from bones that have been used once for a primary stock in order to make complete use of the bones. It's a weaker stock, of course, and is often added to the primary stock and reduced., M Ruhlman).

It's worth it if you're a frugal fool like me. It makes a decent base for a last minute vegetable soup.

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Q4) Any other questions I should be asking?

Yes. "Why am I going to all this trouble without including some beef in my beef stock." (Ruhlman, in my experience, takes unnecessary shortcuts.) Stock made from bones alone derives from times when meat was expensive and stock was an economical use of bones. Bones are great, to be sure. But bones alone produce a calcified, often bitter stock. Add some meat to make it sweeter, richer, and more deeply colored. The veal stock thread has some good information about this: Moo!

And when you've done that, your remouillage will be worthwhile too!

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Q1) I took out 10 oz of fat from the roasting pan that I put into a tin to throw. Should I have added this to the stock pot? Would it have added any additional flavor? Yes, I realize that I could skim this off after the stock has been refrigerated.
IMHO the only thing that fat would add is grease and therefore a greasy taste, which should be avoided.
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IMHO the only thing that fat would add is grease and therefore a greasy taste, which should be avoided.

In general I'd agree with that, but if you remove the fat after finishing the stock, you risk removing a lot of flavor, too. Skim the fat off early, and there will be enough residual to catch flavorful fat-soluble compounds. I can't quote any authorities on this, but twenty some years of empirical data make me believe it's true.

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In general I'd agree with that, but if you remove the fat after finishing the stock, you risk removing a lot of flavor, too. Skim the fat off early, and there will be enough residual to catch flavorful fat-soluble compounds. I can't quote any authorities on this, but twenty some years of empirical data make me believe it's true.
You are right about it being better to remove the fat rendered by roasting the bones first, and in my experience, (I never roast the bones more than 1/2 hour) there will always be enough residual fat from marrow and whatever meat there may be to provide flavor as the stock simmers. I guess someone with more knowledge of food chemistry can inform us about what fat contributes to the flavor profile of a well made stock. There is probably a happy balance between the flavoring and avoiding a greasy "feel" in the stock.
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You are right about it being better to remove the fat rendered by roasting the bones first, and in my experience, (I never roast the bones more than 1/2 hour) there will always be enough residual fat from marrow and whatever meat there may be to provide flavor as the stock simmers. I guess someone with more knowledge of food chemistry can inform us about what fat contributes to the flavor profile of a well made stock. There is probably a happy balance between the flavoring and avoiding a greasy "feel" in the stock.

Good stocks are always de-fatted assiduously. The main thing to keep in mind is to prevent the stock from boiling or even simmering too strongly. Otherwise the churning of the liquid incorporates the fat and makes it difficult to remove. For the same reason, careful skimming throughout the cooking process helps produce a clear and clean stock.

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