Despite the abnormally warm winter we’ve been having in Texas, I’m craving cold weather food. I love a hot cup of soup on a cold day. Maybe my mind is so accustomed to frigid January weather that my stomach just can’t embrace a salad in the winter. I’ve heard it’s been very cold in Ottawa this past week, so maybe it could be phantom hunger? Either way, when I found a sale on beef bones, I couldn’t resist the urge for soup.
The most important element to a great soup is a quality stock. The longer you cook a broth, the richer it will taste. It’s similar to Texas BBQ in that way, low heat and long cook times. If you already have a soup in mind, it’s easy to flavour your stock accordingly.
The one soup that I’ve been craving the most is French onion, but this beef stock would be great in a beef and barley or even a vegetable minestrone soup. The possibilities are endless. Enjoy!
- 3 lbs meaty beef bones with visible marrow
- 1 lbs beef stew meat
- 1 onion, quartered
- 2 stalks of celery, halved
- 2 carrots, halved
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- ½ cup red wine, I used pinot noir
- 20 black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 10 sprigs of parsley
- 2 cloves
- 1 cup dried porcini mushrooms
- 16 cups cold water
Preheat oven to 400.
Place bones, stew meat, onion, celery, carrots, and garlic in a shallow roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 45 minutes, turning halfway through. If the bones begin to char, reduce heat as charring will add a burnt flavour to the stock.
With a slotted spoon, transfer meat, bones and vegetables to a large stock pot or Dutch oven. Place roasting pan over two elements on medium heat. Pour in red wine and de-glaze the pan with a metal spatula scraping up all the brown bits and juices. Transfer to the stock pot.
Add peppercorns, bay leaves, parsley, cloves and porcini mushrooms. Cover the solid ingredients with 16 cups of cold water.
Over medium high heat, slowly bring to a light boil. Reduce heat to the lowest setting and loosely cover the pot. Cook for a minimum of three hours, although the longer you cook it the more flavourful your stock will be. I cooked mine for 10 hours. Do not stir the stock while it cooks, as this will make it cloudy.
Occasionally check on the stock for as it cooks fat and scum will rise to the top. Skim the fat with a spoon and discard.
When the stock has finished cooking, remove the bones, vegetables and other solids with a slotted spoon. Line a sieve with cheesecloth and strain the broth into a bowl or large sealable container. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
When the broth has cooled completely, all the fat will have solidified on top. Use a large metal spoon to remove the fat. Either discard or save it in the fridge for cooking.
Store beef stock in a sealed container. Refrigerated, the stock will last about 4-6 days. If frozen, it will last about 3 months.