I did something different here, I decided to use a large high sided roasting pan instead of the usual stock pot. Here is why. Roasting the bones before making a stock adds lots and lots of flavor but instead of then transferring the bones and veggies to a stock pot I chose to simply roast the stock in the oven. It is a great way to make stock. The liquid slowly reduces without sitting on the stove top all day. It stays at a constant temperature so you don’t need to fuss with a gentle bubble, i.e. uh oh it’s bubbling to hard and I need to adjust the heat again.
Find a source for good gelatin producing parts. Calves, pigs, or chicken feet add gelatin which will give the stock a great mouthfeel and when you reduce the stock for a sauce the gelatin helps to thicken the sauce so there is no need for flour or cornstarch.
The other thing about stock that is really nice, it’s a ratio recipe. Which for me means it is easy to remember and I don’t need to look it up in a book.
The basic ratio for a good stock is 100% water, 50% bones and 10% mirepoix. To make it a rich stock you need to roast the bones and I like to bump the bones up to about 60% and the mirpoix to 15%. As in all brown stocks you would add a bit of tomato product too.
Because I changed the ratio doesn’t mean I go to the trouble of weighing things out exactly. It just means I bump it up a little, a heaping tablespoon so to speak.
Feel free to double, halve or triple this recipe depending on what size roasting pan you have available.
6 to 7 pounds
beef bones, meaty shanks, knuckles, femurs and a foot
yellow onions, root trimmed and quartered (leave the skins on they add a nice gold color to your stock)
celery, trimmed and chunked
carrots, peeled and chunked
1 or 2
leek tops, trimmed and rinsed well (optional)
head of garlic, halved
whole black peppercorns
4 or 5
Szechuan peppercorns (optional but recommended)
Heat the oven to 400?F. Place the bones into a large roasting pot. Roast them for 40 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and turn the bones. Add the onions, carrots, celery, optional leeks and tomato paste. Toss and stir everything. Roast until the vegetables begin to brown. About another 30 to 40 minutes.
Once every thing has browned add the water to the pan along with all the aromatics. Turn the heat down to 350?F and roast the stock for 4 to 5 hours. Make sure you gently stir the bones into the stock once every hour to keep the top edges from really burning instead of browning. Add water if necessary. You will have a strong gallon worth of stock so add water to keep it at the one gallon level, after all you want to get all the flavor out of the bones that you can so you need to cook them the proper amount of time.
If having a clear stock is important to you, it is to me, then use a ladle and, without stirring up the sediment, ladle the stock through a fine mesh strainer into a gallon container.
Note: if you plan to store the stock cool it in its container in an ice water bath and then
refrigerate. It is also much easier to degrease when the fat is coagulated on top.