Makes 1.5 - 2 litres beef stock.
- This is a ‘brown’ beef stock recipe so you roast the bones first to bring out the caramel flavours. Heat oven to about 180⁰C. Place beef bones in roasting tin and roast for 15 minutes until starting to go brown.
- Meanwhile roughly chop the carrot, onion and celery stalk.
- Remove roasting pan from oven. Spread the tomato paste over the beef pieces. Turn bones over so they brown evenly.
- Add the vegetables to the roasting pan and return it to the oven. Continue to roast for another 30 minutes or so, occasionally turning bones and vegetables so they brown all over.
- Transfer all bones and vegetables to a large saucepan.
- Pour the 0.250 litres of boiling water into the roasting pan and stir to lift off all the flavourful sediment. Pour this over the beef bones in the large saucepan.
- Add the 2.5 litres of cold water to the large saucepan - and more if needed to fully cover the beef bones.
- Bring to the boil on the hob, then immediately reduce the heat to a simmer. Quickly skim off all the scum and impurities that form on the surface with a large shallow spoon.
- Add the parsley stalks, thyme sprigs, peppercorns and bay leaves.
- Leave the beef stock to simmer gently for 5-8 hours – the longer you leave it the deeper the flavour.
- Check regularly that it is not boiling – only simmering gently; that there is still enough water to cover the bones, and to skim any further scum that forms. When the water level drops, top up with boiling water. You will need to do this a few times.
- After 5-8 hours remove saucepan from stove. Use tongs to remove the large beef bones, which can be discarded.
- Strain the rest of the contents of the saucepan through a fine-mesh sieve into a suitable large container. Split the stock between a number of smaller containers (I find the most useful sizes are between 250 – 500ml) for storage.
- Allow stock to cool before placing containers in the fridge or freezer, ensuring each container is covered with a suitable lid or cling film. The stock will keep in the fridge for a good few days, and for much longer in the freezer.
- Any beef bones will work fine, but shanks are particularly good
- After you have initially brought the stock to the boil and reduced the heat to a simmer, do not let it boil again as this will affect the flavour.
- If you only use small quantities, try freezing some in an ice cube tray – so you can use as many/few as you want.
- Home-made beef stock adds real depth of flavour to beef casseroles, curries and pasta sauces – why not try this amazing Beef vindaloo with basmati rice.