When you have a really good soup at a restaurant, chances are that it has a stock base very similar to this. It’s a completely different product than what you find in stores. The final product has a deep, rich color and flavor. It’s just impossible to replicate unless you take the time.

This is obviously not a spur of the moment-type recipe. You don’t just throw this together in an afternoon. It takes some planning and two full days to do it right, but the final product will rock your socks. Also, this recipe isn’t necessarily cheap. To make good stock requires a lot of beef bones, which aren’t as cheap as you might think. It’s worth it though, if you have the time.

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 days (5 hours roasting, 3 hours simmering, 1 hour the following day)

Ingredients

  • 6 pounds beef bones (marrow bones, shanks with bones, or oxtail)
  • 1 pound beef stew meat
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 5 large carrots, chopped into thirds
  • 5 stalks celery, chopped into thirds
  • 1 large white onion, quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 14-16 cups water
  • 3 egg whites plus shells, for clarifying

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Toss bones and stew meat with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Put bones and meat in a large roasting pan with high walls, as there will be a lot of fat that melts off. A normal baking sheet will not work.
  3. Roast the bones for 3 hours, stirring them once halfway through.
  4. Add carrots, celery, onions, and garlic to the roasting pan. Return pan to oven and roast for another 2 hours.
  5. Add contents of roasting pan to a large stockpot (I use a 12-quart pot). You could use two smaller pots, but really one large pot is ideal.
  6. Add 1 cup water to the roasting pan and use the liquid to scrape up any bits stuck to the pan. Add that to the stockpot also.
  7. Fill the stockpot with water until it covers the bones by about an inch. Make sure to use at least 14 to 16 cups of water; you might need more depending on your pot.
  8. Bring the stock to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and let the stock simmer for 3 hours, partially covered. During this simmer time, check on the stock occasionally to make sure it’s simmering and not boiling over. Also, if a lot of foam accumulates on top of the stock, skim it off.
  9. Once stock has simmered for 3 hours, remove from heat and let cool for an hour or so until stock is warm, but not boiling hot.
  10. Pour stock through a wire mesh strainer into a large bowl. Try to filter out as many of the solids as possible.
  11. Store stock in the fridge overnight.
  12. The next day, use a large spoon to carefully scoop congealed fat off the top of the stock.
  13. Once most of the fat is skimmed off, add stock back to a large pot (now you can use a normal 4-quart pot). Heat stock until it is almost simmering.
  14. In a bowl, whisk together egg whites until they start to form peaks. Then crunch eggshells into bits and whisk them into the whites.
  15. Add eggs to the stock mixture and stir vigorously to distribute eggs in the stock. Allow to simmer slowly for 15 minutes. It shouldn’t be at a rapid boil, but the water should be circulating. The purpose of this step is to clarify the stock and remove a lot of the bits in it. If you boil the stock vigorously during this step, it won’t work. Just keep it at a slight simmer.
  16. After 15 minutes, the eggs and shells will have latched on to the debris in the stock and formed a sort of raft on the top of the stock. Pour the stock through a strainer lined with cheesecloth. That should filter out much of the debris in the stock and leave you with a fairly clear stock. It’s okay if it’s not perfect.
  17. Store the stock in the fridge for up to 10 days or freeze for up to 6 months.
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