Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Beef Broth

Beef shank is what you need for this recipe.  Beef shank is inexpensive and full of flavor.  This recipe is quite easy.  You can use beef broth for all those hearty winter dishes that you love: beef & barley soup, beef stew, chili, brisket, etc.  Wouldn't you love to have REAL beef broth in your freezer waiting for you on one of those cold winter days?  Yes?  Me too! 

Homemade Beef Broth

2-4 beef shanks (grassfed if possible!)
1 large onion, peeled and halved
2-3 carrots, peeled and halved
2 stalks celery, halved
handful of fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1 teaspoon of whole peppercorns
1 large bay leaf
10 to 12 cups of water
1-2 tablespoons olive oil (for browning beef shanks)

Heat olive oil on medium heat in large stock pot or other large pot.  Brown beef shanks on both sides.  Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.  Bring to a boil and using a spoon, skim off the scum (this is just foam and congealed proteins and impurities) that will rise to the surface.  Keep skimming for a few minutes until the foam subsides.  Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for about 2-3 hours. Remove from heat and then, using tongs, remove beef shanks to a plate.  Use tongs to remove any large vegetables from broth and discard.  Pour broth through a strainer into a large bowl.  Cover bowl with plastic and store in refrigerator until cool --overnight is best.  Once beef shanks have cooled down a little, remove all meat and store in container in refrigerator for use within the next few days or freezer for long-term storage.  Once beef broth has cooled overnight the fat will rise to the surface.  Skim off fat and use broth immediately or store is zip-loc type bags in 1 or 2-cup amounts and store in freezer.  Wasn't that easy? :)