First off, just know that I am not a seasoned veteran when it comes to making bones broths or stocks. It’s a relatively new thing to me, other than making homemade chicken soup and such. That being said, don’t be fooled by the fact that I’m somewhat of a novice when it comes to making beef stock. You should know that I’ve now made this particular recipe for beef bone stock three times, AND each time my stock has turned out excellent (the next two paragraphs will tell you why). In fact, my stock has turned out so well that I’ve had a hard time keeping any of it in supply. Fortunately, I now have several containers in my freezer, well prepared for an ongoing supply of that gelatinous, nutritious, immune enhancing, healing potion. If you’re wondering why I’m keeping an ongoing supply of stock – well, it’s because of the taste and the supercharged punch it gives to the body. I don’t know about you, but I’m all about wellness and being proactive when it comes to my own good health. If I don’t take charge of what I put in my body, no one else will.
Good Stock – Thanks to Sally Fallon & Monica Corrado
As an aside, I have to give credit where credit is due. My romance with bone broth, stocks and tallow (relative to health and nutrition) is largely due to Sally Fallon Morell (Nourishing Traditions) and The Weston A. Price Foundation. Incorporating homemade grass-fed beef stock into your dietary regime is truly a wise tradition. Thank you, Sally Fallon for educating me on healthy, traditional eating.
In addition to Sally Fallon Morell, I owe a debt of gratitude to Monica Corrado of SimplyBeingWell.com. I recently attended a day of cooking with Monica where she so eloquently demonstrated the art of making your own bone broths and stocks, along with reiterating the nutritional and traditional importance of adding this to our diets. Needless to say, I was pretty overwhelmed with her talent and knowledge on the subject – so much so, that I came home and immediately began doing the same. To her credit, the following video and instructions are based upon her recipe for Beef Bone stock, taken from her class and great little cookbook, “With Love from Grandmother’s Kitchen,” that I bought from her (see image to the right).
Beef Stock Ingredients:
- 4-6 lbs. grass fed beef bones (knuckles are preferred)
- 4 or more quarts of filtered or spring water
- 3 large organic carrots (coarsely chopped)
- 3 organic onions (coarsely chopped)
- 3 organic celery stalks (coarsely chopped)
- 1/2 cup Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. Peppercorns
- Sea Salt to taste
- 1 large stock pot (6 – 10 quart)
- 1 bunch organic parsley (optional)
Directions for Making Beef Stock and Tallow:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place bones on a cookie sheet or pan lined with parchment paper. Place in oven and roast bones for 30 minutes, or until they are browned.
2. When bones are browned, remove from oven and place in stock pot (also scrape and pour in any fat or drippings left on paper). Add filtered water, at least 4 quarts or more until bones are covered. Add 1/2 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar to the mix. This will help pull the minerals and nutrients from the bones into the water. Let bones soak for 1 hour without heat.
3. While the bones are soaking in the pot, prepare the vegetables. Wash them good. Coarsely chop up the carrots, onions and celery. Per Monica, you don’t need to peel them as the skins are full of vitamins and minerals too. In this particular recipe, I substituted one onion with 1 fennel, as fennel is known for reducing inflammation and has anti-cancer benefits. More about fennel.
4. After an hour of soaking the bones in the vinegar and water, add the vegetables to the pot. Place on high heat and bring pot to a boil. You’ll start to see scum (or foam) appear on the top. Take a spoon and remove the scum as it appears. This is the impure stuff that you don’t want in your stock.
5. Turn heat down to low. Make sure that there’s enough heat for movement under the surface, but it should not be bubbling too much. You may need to adjust the heat accordingly, but it should be slightly above a simmer for the movement to occur. Monica states that too much heat will not yield good results, nor will too little.
6. Allow stock to simmer (as stated in #5) for 24-72 hours. I did mine just under 50 hours in the video and it seriously turned out great. Monica Corrado suggest that if you don’t want to leave the stove on while you’re away from the house, just simply put the lid on the pot and turn it off. Don’t put it in the refrigerator, but leave it sitting on the stove. When you come back home, turn the heat on and bring it to a boil. Repeat steps # 4 and 5 each time you do this. She refers to this as building “cumulative” time. Even if it takes you five days of this to finish your stock, you’ll be fine. Keep a record of the time that you are cooking.
7. Ten minutes prior to finishing your stock, add the bunch of fresh parsley to the pot. You don’t need to chop it up, but place the whole bunch into the stock. Let it cook with the stock for a good 10 – 15 minutes. It will infuse the stock with valuable minerals, only adding to its nutritional potency. If you don’t believe me about the parsley, take a look. (Note: I did not show this step in the video.)
Completing your Beef Bone Stock:
1. Pour stock through a strainer into a large bowl or pan. I use a 16 cup large stainless steel bowl in the video. Make sure you strain as much of the stock out of the vegetables as you can. You don’t want to waste any! Allow the stock to cool down to room temperature.
2. After stock comes to room temperature, place it in the refrigerator to cool off completely. I like to do this overnight so that everything congeals and cools completely.
3. Remove stock from refrigerator. Take a spoon and peel off the rich, golden beef tallow that has formed on top. You should see the clear stock underneath with a nice layer of gelatin on top. If you don’t see this, you may not have used enough joint bones. If you don’t see the gelatin, don’t be too hard on yourself. The stock will still be amazingly therapeutic and flavorful.
4. Take your saucepan of tallow, apply low heat and melt. Pour the tallow through cheesecloth (if you want) into a container or jar. Keep it in the refrigerator or by your stove for cooking. It will be fine at room temperature for a long time, as long as you have an airtight lid on it. Use the tallow for cooking and sautéing. It’s a very stable fat for cooking and contains cancer killing CLA.
5. Finally, place the gelatinous stock into containers and freeze (preferably BPA-free plastic and not jars, as they will crack) for later (by freezing it should keep for up to 6 months). Or you can store your stock in the refrigerator (it will last 5 -7 days).
I know the above looks like a lot of information, but making good beef bone stock is actually very easy. The biggest issues are finding good grass-fed knuckle bones and the waiting time. If you can get your hands on good bones and invest some time, you should have great results. The health benefits are well worth the effort, so make some stock for yourself soon!
As always, feel free to post your comments, suggestions, etc. below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.