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Recipe of the Week

Detail of Caramel Apple-Almond Crepes

Caramel Apple-Almond Crepes

A great dish for dessert or breakfast, these filled crepes are quick and easy to make, full of wonderful flavor, and make any occasion special.

Homemade Beef Stock

While I use Homemade Chicken Stock
and vegetable stock more often than I use beef stock, beef stock is also essential for many recipes. Two of my favorite soups, french onion and beef and barley, are wonderful if they have a great stock as a base. It also works great as a basting sauce for many roasts and creates an incredible au jus. Use this recipe in soups, stews, or other recipes that require beef stock, broth, or bouillion. You can keep mixed beef trimmings in the freezer as well, like we do for our Homemade Chicken Stock
, but the end result is not as satisfying as getting trimmings from the butcher. (Or at least it has not been in our experiments, but we also cook a lot less beef than we do chicken and what we have for trimmings is quite different than what we typically have from chicken.) Find a local butcher or supermarket that will sell (or give) you 4-5 pounds of sliced beef shanks with a nice amount of beef still on them. Don't skip the roasting step. It does not really take much effort and is most definitely worth it. You can use red wine if you prefer for a richer stock, or can use madeira or other fortified wine, or even just water. This recipe freezes like a dream in freezer bags, airtight containers or ice cube trays. It will also keep in your refrigerator for a few days.

4-5 pounds meaty bones
2 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks and leaves, chopped
2 chopped garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
1 large bunch parsley

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the bones in a roasting pan and coat with the oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 30-40 minutes, flipping occasionally until well browned. Transfer the bones to a stock pot. Pour the fat out of the roasting pan and discard. Pour the wine into the roasting pan and deglaze, making sure to scrape all of the roasted bits off of the pan. Add the wine mixture to the pot along with the rest of the ingredients. Add enough water to cover the ingredients by a few inches. Bring to a boil, skim off the foam, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 3-4 hours, adding more water as needed. Strain through a sieve into a bowl, cool, and then and refrigerate. Skim off the congealed fat that rises to the top and refrigerate or freeze.

Makes about 8 cups stock.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
Sitting Time: 6 hours minutes
Total Time: 9 hours, 45 minutes

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