Making Beef Stock from Scratch
I have had a few goals for this new year to improve our health (see the blog post where I discuss this HERE )by incorporating more food preparations on a regular basis from the book Nourishing Traditions (by author Sally Fallon).
One of those goals is to make stock on a regular basis. I am trying to avoid as much food as possible that contains MSG. Beef and/or chicken bullion cubes are loaded with MSG. I buy a better alternative which is a powdered stock seasoning from my health food co op but regardless it still contains forms of MSG. The only way to have flavorful broths and soups is to make stock from scratch, the way our grandmothers did it! ~smile~
Homemade stock, aside from being MSG free, is loaded with good quality minerals that your body needs. Homemade stock is an excellent way to improve your family’s diet with high a super high quality food source.
Before you begin you will need to purchase beef soup bones. I have seen them at butcher shops so I know they are available. I get mine from the cow we purchase each year. We buy a whole cow from a local farmer each year and I always request the soup bones. I get several wrapped packages of soup bones ready to go. You can also add other types of beef to this. For the tutorial below I also added a package of ribs. I have not found a great way to cook ribs that I really enjoy. They are too fatty for my tastes. My family is not a real fan of ribs so I decided to throw a package in with my beef soup bones to add more flavor and I knew I could save the meat at the end to freeze for soups later on.
Aside form beef soup bones you will also need a few onions, carrots and celery, a small amount of vinegar and a large stock pot (the one seen in the pictures is 14 quarts).
It is hard for me to give a recipe for this because I just base it by how many bones I have and how many of the extras (onions, carrots, celery) I want to add. It is hard to think one could add too many of them. Just use what you have and follow the directions below.
For the batch of stock you will see here I used a total of 10 pounds of beef bones.
I put the beef bones in my stock pot and covered them with water. I added ½ cup of vinegar and let it sit about an hour. The vinegar helps draw out the minerals and good nutritious qualities from the bones.
While that was sitting I cup up my veggies and added them to the pot along with more water. You need to leave some space at the top of the pot for boiling.
Then I turned the burner on high and brought it a boil. I skimmed off any scum that rose to the top. I put the lid on and turned the burner down to low.
I let my stock simmer for 30 hours. The longer it cooks the better the flavor. Sally Fallon recommends anything from 12 to 72 hours. Here is what mine looked like after the cooking time was done.
When the time was up I removed all the bones and then strained the stock through a colander. I had a large bowl full of stock and one full of the bones and meat.
When it had cooled down I removed the meat from the bones and chopped it up. I had enough meat to put about 1 ½ cups in to 3 zip bags. I labeled them and put them in the freezer. I will use this for future soup recipes. I threw away the remaining bones.
I took my big stock pot and washed it and then poured my beef stock back into the pot. It filled the pot about 2/3rd’s full. I put the pot in the fridge to allow the fat to rise to the top and solidify so I could remove that the next day.
After removing all the solidified fat from my stock I divided the stock into 2 and 4 cup portions and put them into zip bags. From 10 pounds of beef bones I ended up with 22 cups of rich, thick delicious broth.
The broth can substituted in any recipe calling for a can of broth or replace the water and bullion cubes for the stock.