Hey, guess what I did all night long on Friday night??? Well, duh, I guess if you can read the title of the post, you have it figured out! In November, we purchased a side of beef, and now my freezer is stocked with lots and lots of grass-fed, hormone-free beef. When we were picking up the beef, the farmer was telling me what was included. One of the things was a bag of bones, which he started to explain what to do with. I interrupted him and said, "Oh, don't worry, I have plans for those." When he found out I was going to make stock, he offered me a whole cooler full of bones for free!!! He said no one wanted them, most people don't know what to do with them. I was almost as excited about these bones as I was the lovely packages of beef.
Warning...vegetarians...look away, shot of beef bones to follow.
One of the things I had marked to do over Christmas break (which ended today...gulp), was to make stock. Since I had about a zillion other things to do, I decided to them in the slow cooker, and not only in the slow cooker, but overnight in the slow cooker! Genius! My only complaint is the aroma, your house will smell so good, it's hard to sleep. I think I dreamed of pot roast!
This was so easy. I browned the meat and veggies right after dinner, dumped everything in the slow cooker and then in the morning just strained and admired!!! I know I should have cut the bones up a little more for more flavor, but I was too lazy. This recipe comes from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann.
4 pounds raw meaty beef bones
2 medium-size yellow onions, quartered
2 medium-size carrots, cut into chunks
4 stalks celery with leaves, cut into chunks
1/4 bunch fresh flat leaf parsley
1 bay leaf, broken in half
10 black peppercorns
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
10 cups cold water
Preheat the oven to 450. Put the bones, onions, and carrots in a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes, turning once.
Meanwhile, combine the celery, herbs and spices, wine, tomato paste, and 8 cups of water in the slow cooker. Turn on HIGH for about an hour until hot.
Add the bones, onions, and carrots to the slow cooker. Poor off the fat and add the remaining 2 cups of water to the roasting pan to scrape up any tasty brown bits. Add to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 10-16 hours. If the water cooks down below the level of the ingredients, top off with some boiling water (mine didn't).
Uncover and let cool to lukewarm. Set a large colander lined with a double layer of cheesecloth or use a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl. Pour the broth through the strainer and press on any vegetables to get as much juice as possible. Discard the solids. Refrigerate.
This broth will keep for 2-3 days in the refrigerator, or store in the freezer.