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Clear Beef Stock

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Clear beef stock in easy to use cubes. That’s the final product of a long process — not a hard one — that is the basis of some many great recipes, and that’s beef stock.

stock, making beefPlease feel free to read the post I wrote last winter about making beef stock for more details on the process, but essentially it’s this: roast beef bones in a hot oven until they are brown. Cover them with cold water and vegetables and simmer without boiling for hours. You want every bit of flavor to leave your solid ingredients.

Strain out the solids from the broth and let the stock cool without covering.

clarificationYour broth is ready to save at this point, or you can clarify it with egg whites. Harold McGee explains how to make the stock clear. Pour in two egg whites into 4 quarts of cold stock, heat to a simmer for at least fifteen minutes while the egg whites collect into a raft and put all the particles left in the stock on board. It’s a cool process and really fun to watch in action. Look at this stuff go.

clear brothJust skim the raft off and you have a beautiful clear consommé. It’s easy to do. We just used a slotted spoon. Because we had cooked the beef broth down to a very concentrated level – less bulk in our freezer – the final product was dense and very concentrated. If you’re isn’t so dense McGee suggests you cook your stock with some new additions of meat and bones for about an hour before your clarify it.

broth cubesHere’s our secret for storage. Let the clear stock cool a little while you clean and ice cube tray. Pour it, or the version before clarifying if you prefer, into the trays and freeze. Use whenever you want.

This might seem like a long process, but we do it once a year and have stock cubes all year long. And once you do this, you can’t go back to cans.

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