Saturday, July 30, 2011

Homemade Beef Stock

This is not your typical grocery store stock! The stock that you find in the store will be loaded with MSG and other unwanted additives... and it will be watery with very little nutritional value.

On the other hand, homemade stock is loaded with nutrition. You control what goes in it (and what doesn't!). And, if you make it right, homemade stock is full of gelatin- just look at the picture. Gelatin is essential for joint health, and may reduce the risk of stomach ulcers.

For my homemade beef stock, I placed in my 7-qt. stock pot:

1 package marrow bones
1 package ox tails
1 package meaty ribs
1 package neck bones
2 calf hooves

I then covered the bones with water (just a couple inches below the lip of the pot), added about 2 T raw apple cider vinegar, and let it sit for 30 minutes.

Next, I brought it all to a boil and spooned out the foam that came to the top. After that, I added 1 med. onion (roughly chopped), a couple cloves of garlic, four carrots (roughly chopped), and about 1t pepper corns and 1t sea salt. You can adjust the seasonings to your taste.

Now comes the waiting! Turn down the heat to a low simmer, cover your pot, and let the stock cook for 24-72 hours. The longer you let it cook, the stronger the flavor and the darker the color.

When the stock is done to your liking, strain off the chunky stuff and store in the fridge overnight. In the morning, spoon off the fat that has congealed on the surface. I fed the fat to my chickens and they loved it!

Now, the stock is ready for storage- it will keep for days in the fridge, or for months in the freezer. Since I always make large batches, I store mine in 2-cup containers in the freezer. Then, it is easy to take out and thaw when I need it! This stock makes great soups, sauces or can replace water in your favorite recipes (rice cooked in stock is delicious!).

Because of the calf's hooves, my stock is loaded with gelatin! My kids took turns twisting the bowl to watch it jiggle :) Enjoy!