Okay, not quite how I've done it. Though I will confess to letting it boil too hard, or for too long. Oh, something smells good this morning. Oops, forgot that pot overnight...
I enjoy homemade chicken and turkey stock, which are wonderful for soups and risottos, and have made duck stocks as well since we raised our five last summer, but have never really made a nice beef stock. I tried it a time or two. The smell wasn't nice, there would be this foam on top that, to be honest, was a little creepy - beef bubbles? - and buying the can was so much easier and tastier.
But, since I'm trying to do the sauce thing right, I figured I should make a proper beef stock. So, consulting my handy Sauces book (oh, dear little book,I fear for you. Books I use too often in the kitchen rarely escape unscathed. And you are so cute!), I read up on stocks. And in keeping with the variations-on-variations thing that is an understandable product of centuries of amazing chefs doing amazing things with food, there is more to stock than meets the eye - err, tongue. There are white stocks, and brown stocks, and demiglaces, and glaces; chicken, beef, veal, vegetable, fish, even lobster stocks. And they all (of course!) have subtle and not-so-subtle differences, depending on how the bones are prepared, what is added, and how concentrated the end result is.
|The beginning - bones ready to be roasted|
|Roasted bones plus mirepoix|
|The stock begins while the fond reduces.|
The wine and bits from the pan simmered to reduce the wine by half, then this was added to the stockpot. Cold water topped off the lot, and it was brought to just barely a boil, then simmered for 10 minutes. I waited for the nasty foam to appear, but only a teensy bit did and really, it looked less threatening in smaller quantities. The final addition to the pot was mushroom, tomato, garlic, and a bouquet garni - a lovely little package of herbs wrapped in a section of leek and tied with string. Cute and easily removed all in one. Score!
Then, the simmering. For two hours. Not ten hours. Not a rolling boil, just gently simmering away and getting brown and rich all the while. The end result was strained, chilled, and packed into nice little containers in the freezer for use in sauces.
|Last stage of simmering. Look! No nasty foam!|