A Better Roasted Beef Stock (think less storage footprint…)
When I got back from my safari trip to South Africa in February, my friend from Slow Food had graciously delivered my bison share from the stock show back in January, and with it in the freezer I found several bags of bison femur bones. Those are the big leg bones that are just perfect for making stock. The only problem is, with a half hog, several chickens, a whole lamb, ground beef, and now a bison share of about 75 pounds in my outside freezer, I just don’t have room for storing large containers of stock. And then it hit me – a better way to make and store beef (bison) or chicken stock.This is really easy, you just roast the bones until nice and caramelized like above, then stick them in the pot along with aromatics and water like you would for any stock. But after straining out the solids, letting it cool, removing any fat that has solidified on the surface, you then bring it back to a boil and reduce it way down. This very concentrated stock is then frozen in an ice cube tray, and instead of 12-16 cups of stock in your freezer, you’ll end up with 12-16 cubes that you can store in a small bag in the freezer. To use in a recipe, melt a cube into a cup of hot water and add salt to taste – and that equals 1 cup of stock. Brilliant, no?
- Several large beef or bison femur bones
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 20 cups water
- Roast the bones on a baking sheet at 400 degrees until nicely caramelized, about 45 minutes. Place the roasted bones in a very large soup pot and add the onion, carrot, celery, peppercorns, bay leaves, and water. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 2-3 hours. Strain out and discard the solids, then place the stock into the refrigerator overnight.
- In the morning, remove any fat that has solidified on the surface of the stock, then return the pot to the stove, uncovered, and bring to a boil. Let the stock boil until reduced to about 1½ cups. Pour the concentrated stock into ice cube trays and freeze. When solid, remove from the tray and store in a plastic bag in the freezer.
- To use stock, dissolve 1 cube in 1 cup hot water and add salt to taste.