Brown stock



This is the ideal stock to use in dishes which require a good color and strong flavour. If you cannot find Spanish onions, very large, well flavored onions will do.

MAKES ABOUT 1.25 L [3 pt]
- 2.25 kg [5 Ib] shin or neck beef bones with meat attached, chopped and washed
- 2 Spanish onions, sliced
- 3 large carrots, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, thickly sliced
- salt
- bouquet garni
- bay leaf
- 6 black peppercorns


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1. Cook the washed bones in a large pan over very low heat until fat is extracted, stirring occasionally, to brown bones evenly. Add a little dripping if necessary.

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2. Slightly increase heat and fry for 15 mins. Stir to brown evenly. Add a little fat if bones produce none.

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3. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables: peel and slice onions, scrub carrots and celery and then cut them into chunks.

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4. Add vegetables to the pan and cook for 10 minutes or until pale golden in color.
5. Pour on 3.25 L [6 pt] cold water and bring slowly to the boil.
6. Remove scum with a slotted spoon.
7. Add a little salt, the herbs and the peppercorns. Half cover the pan and simmer very gently for about 4 hours, skimming and topping up with boiling water as necessary.
8. Strain, de-grease, strain again, reduce and adjust seasoning to taste as necessary.

Variations

- Second brown stock: brown stock bones and meat can be re-used. To bolster flavour, add fresh vegetables and herbs and any joint bones and any chicken carcasses saved.
- Cheap brown stock: you can simply use saved joint bones and chicken carcasses in place of fresh shin or neck of beef bones. Reduce water by half.
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