Yield: 2 servings
|(or more) beef and veal bones, sawed into pieces by the butcher (try to have the pieces cut no more than 2 to 2-inches long or wide
|(to 4 lbs) boneless shin of beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
|Unpeeled onions, one sliced, the other left whole
|Carrots, scrubbed and cut up coarsely
|Water as needed
|Celery ribs with leaves, cut up
|Dried thyme, crumbled
|Ripe tomatoes, coarsely chunked
|Clove garlic, unpeeled, left whole
|Or 3 sprigs parsley
Makes 2 cups (reconstituted, about 8 quarts, or 1 cup of broth per Tbsp. of essence. Refrigerate for weeks or freeze nearly forever.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
In one or two large, shallow roasting pans spread all the bones and half of the shin beef, reserving the other half in the refrigerator.
Add the sliced onion and the cut up carrots. Put the pan or pans into the oven and brown the ingredients for 40 to 50 minutes, stirring and turning them from time to time; you want a good brown color. Pour off any fat and put the bones, meat, and vegetables into a very large stock pot. Pour 2 or 3 cups of water into the roasting pan(s), then set over direct heat and stir and scrape to dissolve all the brown bits. Pour the deglazing liquid into the stock pot. Add enough water to cover everything by about 2 inches. Add the celery, thyme, bay leaf, the second onion (stuck with a single clove, tomatoes, garlic, and parsley.
Bring the liquid to a boil, then adjust the heat so that the pot, partially covered, maintain a gentle simmer, with only an occasional bubble. Skim off any foam at the beginning and cook everything for 7 or 8 hours, skimming occasionally (this is to achieve clarity in the finished essence). The simmering can be interrupted for several hours, or overnight; let the pot sit, uncovered, for up to 8 hours at room temperature, then resume cooking when convenient. (Refrigerate for longer times or if the weather is warm.) After you judge all possible flavor has been extracted from the solids in the pot, strain them all out, pressing on them with a spoon to extract all the juices. Skim all fat from the strained broth, which by now will amount to about 4 or 5 quarts. Strain the broth through a cheesecloth-lined strainer into the washed out pot (or into a smaller one) and add the remaining beef, which you have meanwhile chopped or ground to the fineness of hamburger.
Resume simmering, skimming off fat and scum about every half hour.
After cooking the stock with the beef for 1-½ hours, strain out the meat, pressing it to extract all possible flavor.
Strain the broth through the cheesecloth again a begin the final reduction. Resume simmering the stock, cooking the ever-strengthening essence gently as long as necessary for it to become a syrupy substance that will coat a cool metal spoon; this may take up to 2 hours. (For the clearest essence, skim frequently. However, the flavor of the finished product will be fine if you aren't too fussy about the skimming; just be sure to skim off any fat that appears.
The essence is finished when it passes the metal-spoon test. Strain it through a fine meshed metal strainer into small jars or pots and let it cool, uncovered. Cover it closely and store in the refrigerator, or freeze it. If frozen, scoop out with a hot spoon as needed.
Note: The exact yield will depend on how much collagen was contained in the bones and meat--the more collagen, the sooner the jellying stage is reached. The cooled essence will be firm, almost rubbery, and highly concentrated in flavor. If any surface mold should eventually develop, remove it--it's harmless.
Shared By: Pat Stockett