My sister-in-law Lucy always makes this huge, gorgeous prime rib for Christmas Eve dinner. It’s about the only time of the year that I eat this dish, so I look forward to it, especially the nose-numbing blast I get from the accompanying horseradish. As I was helping her with the dishes, she was ready to toss the meaty bones into the trash, so as is my weird habit, I rescued them and brought them home bundled in foil. The day after Christmas, I roasted them and made the most delicious stock as a base for Mushroom Soup. The flavors are so deep and wonderful from the roasting of the bones, plus, I love wringing everything out of every meal, especially nourishing bone stocks and broths.
I want to make some more soon, so I’ll visit Star, my local butcher and ask for whatever he can give me. I’ll let you know how that goes, but for now, this is a perfect base for soups and stews, as well as for dunking gluten-free french dip sandwiches from left-over Pot Roast.
Don’t worry about how much time this takes – do this on a weekend when you’re home for a bit. Most of the recipe time is roasting or simmering on the stove. If you’ve got nightshade allergies, this is wonderful to make because I’ve never found good commercial organic beef stock or that is free of paprika and/or potatoes.
This is one of those “everything but the kitchen sink” recipes – use what you like and what makes sense.
Prep time: 50 minutes
Total time: about 6 hours
Special equipment: cheese cloth optional
4–6 pounds beef bones
1 large onion quartered (you can leave the peel on)
3 medium carrots cut into 2 inch chunks.
1/2 c. water
3 stalks celery, sliced into 1 inch chunks
10 mushrooms halved
1 T salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 thyme leaves
2 tsp. dried thyme or several sprigs of fresh
2 cloves garlic
10–12 cups of water (to cover)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Into a shallow roasting pan, place bones, onions and carrots. Roast for 30–40 minutes until the bones are well browned, turning occasionally.
- Remove roasting pan from oven and drain off fat. Place the browned bones, onion and carrots into a large stock pot.
- Pour 1/2 c. water into the roasting pan and place it over high heat – scraping up brown bits with a wooden spoon. Add liquid to stock pot.
- Add all remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 4–5 hours. Drain stock and discard the bones and vegetables. To further clarify the broth, you can strain it through a cheese cloth. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand another 5 minutes. Strain again through cheesecloth.
- I cool the stock and pour into glass jars to freeze (leave an inch for the stock to expand as it freezes).