Beef Stock is another staple I like to have in my freezer pantry. I adapted a Cooks Illustrated recipe by adding more vegetables (they just use an onion) and using whatever meat I wanted. The important thing is to use meat that has BONES. Some recipes suggest roasting the vegetables and bones in the oven. I want to try that method. Today, I browned everything in my enameled cast iron stock pot and it worked very well. Here’s what I did!

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I used a few different types of beef from Hy-Vee. I like their Amana brand. For this recipe, I used a large shank, beef short ribs, and some cut up beef roast. I browned it in batches in some vegetable oil until BROWNED but not done. Then I removed the beef to a plate. Next up was browning the cut-up vegetables.

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Next we deglaze the pan with a liquid. I USUALLY use Apple Cider and I love that touch of sweet in my stocks and broths. This time, I followed the recipe and used 1/2 cup of Red Wine. I changed the rest of the liquid a bit because I ALWAYS add some Better Than Bouillon in place of some of the water. In this case, I added 2 cups of Beef Bouillon. Add the meat back into the pan and cover with water and simmer all afternoon.Image

I also added a 1/2 bag of greens. It was an experiment and it worked. I used frozen greens but I might try spinach next time.

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Just let it bubble and spurtle and gurgle on your cooktop. Add more water if you want. When the meat falls apart, you are getting near done. Taste it. Does it need more salt? It might. Ina Garten says the difference between dishwater and good stock is salt. She’s right.When done, remove the meat and bones and veggies and throw out. I think they’ve done their job and don’t have anything more to give in terms of taste or nutrition. You may think different. Strain the stock a few times. I let my stocks cool OUTSIDE at least overnight during the cold season and the fat separates from the stock quickly and easily. The next day, must take the fat off and throw away.Image

See how thick and jelled it is? THAT, my friend, is a GOOD stock. Heat it up and taste it. Or freeze it already jelled. I like to freeze it is small portions (like a cup or two) but also in my large Weck Jars that are almost 3 cups.

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I love making and using stock. You can even see the difference in color with these different jars. The Beef Stock is dark and thick. The Chicken Stock is golden. The Vegetable is almost an olive color. You KNOW these jars of goodness are nutritious!