Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Beef Stock and "Rock Soup"

Makes About 3 Quarts

Ingredients (inspired by this WS recipe):
6lbs Meaty Beef Shanks (or Soup Bones)
1 Yellow Onion, chopped
1 Bulb Garlic, cut in half horizontally (exposed cloves but leave skin intact)
2 Carrots, chopped
1 Leek, chopped (optional)
1 Bunch Fresh Parsley
5 Fresh Thyme Sprigs
8 Peppercorns
Sea Salt, to taste
  1. Preheat an oven to 450°F. Place the shanks in a roasting pan. Roast until browned, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer to a stockpot but do not clean the roasting pan. Add water to cover the bones by 4 inches and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 1 to 2 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, brown the onions, carrots, garlic, and leek (if using) in the roasting pan over medium-high heat until caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes. Add to the stockpot. 
  3. Pour the 2 cups water into the roasting pan and deglaze over medium-high heat, stirring to remove any browned bits from the pan bottom. Set aside.
  4. When the shanks have simmered for 1 to 2 hours, add the deglazed juices to the stockpot along with the parsley, thyme, and peppercorns. Cover partially and simmer gently for at least 4 hours or for up to 8 hours.
  5. Remove from the heat. Scoop out and discard all the solids, then pour the contents of the pot through a fine-mesh sieve lined with damp cheesecloth into a large bowl (make sure it will fit into your fridge). Refrigerate, uncovered, until well chilled and the fat has solidified on top. Lift off and discard the fat. Use the stock at this point or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

This is my new favorite...why did it take me so long to make this!? I've just gotten so used to using chicken stock in everything and have never actually tried real, homemade, rich, flavorful beef stock...I feel so deprived. 

My last memory of beef stock (or broth, actually) is of a "Rock Soup" my sister and I made when we were little, which consisted of Beef Bouillon Cubes, Water, and yes...Rocks. So, needless to say my experience, although memorable, may have left me thinking that there may be better options with regard to stock. I blame the broth, because our rocks...they were always perfect. One could only imagine what "Rock Soup" would taste like with this stock...

We were getting ready to make "Rock Soup" or save the world...either way, ready for anything!
Have you made Beef Stock? And, more importantly...have you made "Rock Soup"!?


Zhan said...

Jen - I love your blog! FYI on the stock: you don't need to go to the trouble of cooking the onions or carrots, much less chopping them/skinning them.

I make all of my own stocks; all you do is break the carrots in half, throw the onions in chopped in half OR quarters (paper and all) and the same with garlic.

I'd also add some celery stalks in as well.

That's the beauty of stocks - it's so easy b/c you just throw it all in and then discard the solids.

Nikki said...

Ha! I hope your Sister is a better cook these days ;) This sounds wonderful. I need to start making my own stocks. I feel a little sad when I wrap that chicken carcass in a little biodegradable doggie poop bag and toss it in the garbage. That's our racoon protection bag...

jencereghino said...

Thanks, Zhan! I do that (throw everything in) with my chicken and turkey stocks, but thought I would try roasting (as Williams-Sonoma suggested), for a more rich, roasted flavor. And, I just used what I had in my fridge...no celery. :( As far as chopping, I don't peel anything just cut it so it opens up the vegetable and is smaller for the pot. Pretty much like you've suggested...skins and all.

Nikki~ She's a really good cook...and, so is my mom. :) If you're not ready to make stock, right after cooking your chicken, you can always wrap the carcass and freeze it until you are. Just a thought. But, do it! And, like Zhan said...it's really just throwing everything into a pot, covering it with water, and letting it simmer away.

As far as the beef stock, I feel like the roasting of the shanks makes for a more rich and flavorful stock but am not so sure that the veggies need to be roasted. I do, however, think that the little nubbins on the bottom of the roasting pan should not go to waste, so the deglazing step is a must! :)

erinlo said...

Jen- I'm a friend of Juli's at the Crossfit Flex Gym Nutrition blog. Found your blog searching for Paleo recipes and I can not WAIT to try some of yours. I'm still learning, but am loving that I can find so many awesome Paleo recipes on line. Thank you for sharing yours!

jencereghino said...

Thanks for stopping by! I love sharing my recipes and helping others to eat more healthfully, so no problem!

Here's another really great resource, that has featured a few of my recipes:

They have new recipes everyday. Also, you can search through my recipes under the "Recipes" tab, by using the search tool (in the upper left-hand corner), or you can search by food type (i.e. Chicken, Pork, Vegetable...) in the upper right-hand corner under "Recipes and WODs".

Happy Eating!

AllieNic said...

That looks delicious! I really love beef anything and winter is definitely a great time for soup! Thanks for sharing!