Saturday, May 4, 2013

Homemade Beef Stock in a Crock Pot

Soup is still on the menu at our house since the weather has been running hot and cold for the past six weeks.  I've made plenty of chicken stock based soups but I was craving something hearty with beef. The first time I attempted homemade beef stock it turned out weak and watery.  I didn't use enough beef bones. I was not going to let that happen this time.  This year my husband and I bought a half side of beef, and our freezer is stocked full. I was excited to buy this beef because I know the family and the farm where the cow was raised. Trust me. This was one happy cow. Needless to say, I have plenty of soup bones, stew meat, and frozen scraps on hand. So much so that I made a double batch. The recipe and pictures below will make a double batch - enough for two crock pots. However, you can easily cut this in half.




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Homemade Beef Stock in a Crock Pot
1 1/2 lbs soup bones
1 lb stew meat
3 lbs of beef and pork scraps with bone (this included the bone from our Christmas prime rib roast)
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
olive oil
2 onions
4 carrots
4 celery stalks
water

Note: basically you need some combination of everything above equivelant to 2 3/4 lbs for each crock pot.

Prepare each crock pot with the following:
1 large bunch of fresh parsley sprigs
1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
3/4 teaspoon of thyme
8 - 10 peppercorns
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly brush the baking sheet with olive oil. Arrange frozen soup bones and stew meat on the baking sheet and generously sprinkle with salt and pepper.



2. Bake the soup bones and stew meat on the center rack for 30 minutes.



3. Flip the soup bones to cook on the other side, break apart the stew meat, and sprinkle with more salt and pepper. Place the sheet pan back into the oven for another 30 minutes.



4. Cut the onions, carrots, and celery in half.



5. Remove the sheet pan from the oven. "Frost" the soup bones with the tomato paste, add the vegetables on top of the stew meat, and place the pan back into the oven again for another 30 minutes.



6. Prepare each crock pot with the list of ingredients above.



7. Divide the frozen scraps evenly between the crock pots.  Divide the sheet pan ingredients evenly between the crock pots.



8. Divide the pan juices between each crock pot.



9. Add about 2 quarts of water to each crock pot. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. I often cook in the crock pot over night and finish up in the morning.



10. When everything is still warm but cool enough to handle remove all the scraps with a slotted spoon.  Pour the stock through cheese cloth into a large pot.



11. Divide the stock into containers that can be frozen.  I use canning jars.



12. I was shocked when I tasted the beef that was still on the bones because there was still flavor in the meat.  I mean significant flavor.  This is not true for the chicken scraps when I make chicken stock. Usually I throw away everything because there is zero flavor left; it's all in the stock. In this case, there was no way I could throw away this meat.  I picked through the meat, separated fat from meat with my fingers, and ended up with about a pound of meat that could be used for soup.



From other websites:
"Homemade Beef Stock" from Martha Stewart
"How to Make Beef Stock" from Kalyn's Kitchen
"How to Make Beef Stock" from Simply Recipes
"Simple Homemade Beef Stock" from Epicurious



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