Any stock bought from the supermarket is loaded with chemical flavour enhancers (like MSG) and preservatives. Even stocks labeled "organic" can have additives like "caramel" (a nasty one), thickeners, "flavour" (who knows what this is) and other stuff with no business being in a true stock. Sometimes better butchers who carry house-made prepared foods will have authentic stocks, but making them yourself is an art form well worth knowing.
Authentic stocks made by boiling bones contain all the minerals, collagen, cartilage, marrow and, most importantly, gelatin needed for the maintenance of our own bones, as well as other bodily processes. Gelatin, a digestive aid in its own right, also has been used to great success in the treatment of anemia, diabetes, muscular dystrophy and cancer.
Directions for: Homemade Beef Stock
lb. beef bones, cut by the butcher to reveal the marrow
cooking onions, chopped
stalks of celery, chopped
roma tomatoes, chopped
heads garlic, halved
can can of organic* tomato paste
Tbsp organic* olive oil
bottle organic* red wine
Enough filtered water to cover bones
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread bones in a deep pan and place in the oven. Roast bones until they are well browned, stirring occasionally. This should take approximately one hour. Remove from oven when browned.
2. Heat a large stock pot on the stove on medium high heat. Sauté onions, carrots, celery and garlic in the olive oil in the bottom of the stock pot. When vegetables have browned, tomatoes and let cook for a minute. Add tomato paste, stirring well to ensure it does not burn to the bottom of the pan. After the tomato paste has cooked for a few minutes, add the wine.
3. Add the bones to the pot, carefully arranging them so that they all fit. Pour cold filtered water over the bones until they are covered completely. Bring gently to a simmer, being sure to not let the pot boil ( a hard boil will make the stock turn cloudy). As you bring the stock to a simmer, skim the foam, fat and impurities that rise to the surface. Continue to skim as the stock simmers.
4. Once simmering, add the thyme, rosemary and bay leaves.
Allow stock to simmer gently for 8 - 10 hours, skimming occasionally. Do not worry if the stock reduces significantly, although if this happens quickly you may want to turn the temperature down (it should be on very low).
5. Once it has cooked for the alloted time, remove from heat. Strain carefully through a fine sieve lined with cheesecloth, discarding the bones and cooked vegetables. Put into a container and chill.
6. When using stock, discard the layer of fat that accumulates at the top of the chilled broth. Use for soups, stews or sauces.
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