Meat Broth

This basic broth of beef, with the addition of chicken and veal, may be used in any recipe calling for beef broth, stock, consommé or pot au bouillon. Almost any veal, chicken or beef bones may be included; the exceptions are large marrow bones that take up too much room in the pot, obliging you to add too much water and thus weaken the resulting broth.

Ingredients

  • 2–2½ lb (1–1.25 kg) shin or leg of beef
  • 2–2½ lb (1–1.25 kg) plate or short ribs of beef
  • 2–2½ lb (1–1.25 kg) chicken pieces (backs, necks, wing tips)
  • 1 chicken carcass, raw or cooked (optional)
  • 1 meaty veal knuckle, chopped (optional)
  • 9 pints (5 litres) water
  • 10 oz (500 g) carrots
  • 1 large onion, stuck with 3 cloves
  • 1 large head garlic
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • Salt

Method

Place a round metal grille in the bottom of your stock pot to prevent the ingredients from sticking. Tie thin cuts of meat into compact shapes with string. Starting with the largest pieces, fit all the beef, chicken and veal into the pot. Add the water and bring very slowly to the boil; it should take at least 1 hour for the water to reach boiling point. With a spoon or ladle, carefully lift off the surface scum as the liquid comes to the boil. Add the carrots, onion, garlic, bouquet garni and salt, and skim once more as the broth returns to the boil. Turn the heat down, cover the pot with the lid ajar and leave to simmer undisturbed for 3½ hours if you wish to serve the beef afterwards, or for 5 hours if you wish to extract all the goodness of the beef into the broth. Strain the finished broth through a colander lined with dampened muslin. De-grease throughly with kitchen paper, or allow the broth to cool completely and then remove the solidified fat from the top.

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