How to Make “Brown” Beef Bone Stock

finished beef bone stockWhen I told my oldest son I was roasting some bones in the oven he looked at me sternly for a few seconds before exclaiming, “Mom, you just keep getting weirder and weirder!” I suppose from the perspective of a 10 year old, the idea of roasting bones, then “painting” them with tomato paste (a bit of a macabre-looking scene to be sure) and then simmering them in a cauldron, um, I mean crock pot, sounds a bit bizarre. But in spite of appearances, there is a method to my (seeming) madness.

In the post How to Make Chicken Stock in Five Minutes I touched on some of the health benefits of eating bone stock. It’s a great “whole” food few of us incorporate into our modern diets. Health benefits are one thing, but when you experience the exquisite flavor of real “brown” beef bone stock you will understand just how worthwhile it is to make it yourself. Store bought stock will never have the same rich flavor and certainly not provide you with the full health benefits.

This recipe is based on one from Emeril Lagasse. I have tweaked the quantities, eliminated the wine and thyme, increased the cooking time and included vinegar to pull the minerals out of the bones for maximum health benefit. You could make bone stock without roasting the bones but it would not have quite the same rich flavor. The process of browning the bones makes for a sophisticated flavor that is beyond compare. This is a classic method chefs use to obtain maximum flavor from bones for use in stocks and sauces.

The recipe makes a fairly significant amount of mineral rich, delicious bone stock which means the invested time and money is well worth it. Continue reading

How to Make Homemade Chicken Stock in Five Minutes

Homemade Chicken StockIna Garten‘s “Barefoot Contessa” is one of my favorite cooking shows. She often references using homemade chicken stock in her recipes.  And even though Ina qualifies it by saying you can substitute store-bought stock or broth, the mere mention of homemade chicken stock only served to make me feel inadequate. At least it did until very recently when I finally figured out if you have five minutes, a few key ingredients and a crock pot you can make homemade chicken stock.* Continue reading