You can buy pre-made beef stock in many supermarkets. And if you are really desperate, there are stock cubes. But nothing beats making your own stock. Make a big batch and freeze what you don’t need immediately.
The very first cooking course I ever attended was about making stocks. The lessons learned have been invaluable. Almost as valuable as the Philosophy course I did in Logic and Argument has been to my other other career paths.
The most important lesson is – don’t rush it. Stocks need time. Beef stocks need a lot of time. Some Vietnamese Phở restaurants have their stocks cooking for 12 hours or more. I recommend a minimum of 6 hours for a basic stock like this.
Temperature is important. If it is too hot for too long the stock gets cloudy and can get a little bitter. If you see an occasional bubble rising to the surface, that is about the correct temperature.
You could add other vegetables to this stock. Fennel would add a nice anise note. A few mushrooms, especially dried shiitake mushrooms, would up the umami factor by a considerable margin.
- 2 kg beef marrow bones
- 5 litres water
- 2 onions skinned and halved.
- 4 carrots cut into quarters length wise
- 1 head garlic cut through the middle (across all the )
- 1 tsp of peppercorns
- 8 stalks of celery lower 2/3 included
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- 1 cup parsley stalks loosely packed
- 2 bay leaves
- Plunge the beef bones into boiling salted water. Bring back to boil and let boil for 2 minutes. Drain and discard the water.
- Roast the beef bones for 30 minutes.
- Add the onions, garlic, and carrots to the roasting pan and roast for another 45 minutes.
- Add bones, vegetables, and all other ingredients to a suitably sized pot and bring to the boil.
- Skim off any scum and oil.
- Cover and reduce heat so that you only see occasional bibles rising.
- Simmer for 6 to 24 hours, where simmer means the occasional bubble surfacing.