Beef broth is the base for traditional Cuban dishes like ajiaco and ropa vieja. Though some home cooks skip the step of browning the beef bones and vegetables, chefs like our friend Eduardo know that browning gives this broth a deep amber color and rich, full flavor. This recipe also yields the beef for Ropa Vieja de Raquel (Raquel’s Shredded Beef).
Cover and bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Uncover the pot and skim off any scum that has risen to the top. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer the broth with the lid slightly askew until the meat is very tender, 1½ to 2 hours.
Strain the broth through a colander lined with two layers of damp cheesecloth. Remove the flank steak and reserve for Ropa Vieja de Raquel.
Discard the remaining solids. Refrigerate the broth; when chilled, skim off any fat from the top.
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