Friday, 8 April 2011

Beef stock

From this to...

this...     Beef stock is not hard to make but it is time consuming.  I love making it and chicken stock as well.  The slow cooker is perfect for making stock as it doesn,t evaporate like cooking it on the stove top.
The slow cooking extracts all the flavours from the meat and vegetables.

Roast some beef bones, I think I used about a kilo, with 1 to 2 carrots and 1 to 2 onions. I used one of each as that is all I had.  Add some tomato paste, some olive oil and lots of salt.  Roast for about 30 mins in a 180 degree oven.  Turn over and baste bones half way through.

Once cooked (should be nice and golden and carmelised) put the beef bones and vegetables and all the good bits left in the pan into the slow cooker.  Add enough water to cover and put on high for 6 hours and then another 6 on low.  Preferably overnight.  I also added some celery at this stage.  You can also add some herbs, like thyme, parsley and bay leaf.  I didn't as I had none on hand.

Strain the stock and extract as much of the juices from the meat and vegetables using a sieve.  Put into a container and then into the fridge overnight so the fat can rise to the top and solidify,  making it really easy to get rid of all the fat.  The stock itself will be quite gelatinous.

If you want an extra clear broth like consomme, put the stock back into a pot and gently heat till the stock loses its gelatinous quality.  It should be still  cold. At this point I taste and check the seasoning and add some salt, it doesn't really need much as there was salt added to the bones at the roasting phase. Whisk 4 egg whites till frothy and add to the cold stock.

Bring the stock to a gentle simmer and let it do its miraculous stuff for about 30 mins.  It starts to look quite repulsive and lava like.  Don't worry as all the goodness is under the egg white raft.  Do not disturb the raft as its simmering.

After the 30 mins, strain the scum of the top.  I strained it a couple of times finishing off with a piece of muslin to filter out the fine bits.

And viola... beautiful clear golden stock.  Now, what am I going to use it for....endless possibilities..

Probably for pumpkin soup.

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