You’ll never get a good beef stock without meat and bones. In some supermarkets in the Netherlands you can buy soup packages to make your own stock, but what they provide is a miserable quantity, barely enough for one cup of soup. That’s why so many recipes advise to add a stock cube to your own stock. Pure nonsense!
The amounts in the recipe below will yield two litres of good beef stock. But you’ll need a six litre pan to make it.
There are some links in the recipe to the tips & tricks of broth making. There you can find descriptions of how to strain, reduce, cool and keep your broth. Because that is the same for all broths and stocks, this information is gathered on one page. On that page you can also find links to other recipes for stocks and soups.
Preparation for 2 liter; Preparation in advance 15 minutes; preparation 4 hours.
1 kilo (2 pounds) soup bones
500 gr (1 pound) shin of beef
2 large carrots
1 unpeeled onion
500 gr (1 pound) tomatoes
10 sprigs leaf celery
1 sprig lovage
some rue if you have it in your kitchen garden
3 bay leaves
1 sprig thyme
some small pieces of mace
freshly ground black pepper
3 liter cold water
Preparation in advance
Wash and clean all vegetables, cut them coarsely.
If you want a really dark stock, start with browning the bones seperately in a hot oven (220 °C/425 °F). Then transfer the bones without the fat that has run out of them to the soup pan.
Add meat and cold water to the bones, bring to the boil. Then skim very carefully before adding the vegables, herbs and spices. Cover the pan with a lid and let the stock simmer for four hours on a very slow fire. The stock does not need be boiling.
You can use a pressure cooker, but remember that you can not fill a pressure cooker to the rim, for this amount you’ll need a cooker with a content at least 7 liters.
Strain the stock, and reduce to two litres, then let it cool quickly. Now you can freeze what you don’t need immediately.
Do not forget to label your frozen stock, in the freezer all stocks look alike.
Levisticum officinale. An umbelliferous plant (like wild celery and parsley) that was popular in the classic Roman kitchen, and still used in the Middle Ages. You can grow it in your garden. When flowering, it can grow as tall as 2 meters. The taste is rather overbearing, use it in small amounts. It is very nice in stock.
A small shrub (Ruta graveolens), indigenous to Southern Europe. The odiferous plant has a strong, bitter taste. The ancient Greeks and Romans loved rue, and it is still an ingredient in the Italian drink Grappa Ruta. In modern cuisine rue has mostly dissappeared, which is a pity. A few rue leaves in broth are very good. However, it is thought to be an anaphrodisiac (quenches lust), and pregnant women must be careful not to use too much of it, because it could also be abortive. But a leaf or two won’t do any harm.
Rue plants can be found at garden centers. It is quite decorative, a semi-perennial with small yellow flowers that can be used to decorate any dish.
Basic recipe for beef stock