I read many blogs, books and combined a few things along the way. And the journey continues evolving.
Long Way On A Little - by Shannon Hayes opened my eyes to making stock with multiple kinds of meat bones, instead of just beef or chicken. She also recommends splashing vinegar into the water and letting it sit for a time before starting the cooking process. (This kinda blew my mind at first.)
Nourishing Traditions - by Sally Fallon was another book that revolutionized my way of looking at stock.
Veggie Scrap Stock from the Alaskan blogger HeyWhatsForDinnerMom? talks about how to make vegetable stock from your veg trimmings. Light bulb moment for sure for me! Literally everything I could save went in - even to a few bell pepper hearts along with all the things described in the above post.
I saved 2 gallon bags of veggie scraps, 2 chicken frames, the ham bone from our split pea soup plus a few other assorted bones in the freezer, then started the stock Saturday morning.
First I got the beef soup bones oiled, salted and peppered. Then I popped them into the oven to roast a while. (2 hours by the clock.)
The whole lot got tossed into one of our big stockpots (I'm pretty sure it holds at least 4 gallons). 1 1/2 gallons of water was all that it could hold what with everything else in the pot. On top of all went a generous pour of vinegar.
|The pot next to our little tea kettle|
According to directions from both of the books, I let everything sit for a while after adding the vinegar. (20 minutes was all my impatient self could endure.) They recommend up to an hour's sitting time. Next time I will do that with the beef bones especially. A lot more gelatin could've been extracted if I'd been patient.
In a spice bag went 3 or so bay leaves with 10+ peppercorns and approx. 1 tablespoon of dried rosemary needles.
|good and brown|
This concoction was simmered from about noon to 11:30 that night. Put into the fridge until Monday and simmered for at least another 7 hours. Monday, before starting the cooking once more, I did skim off the considerable fat coagulated on top. That evening was spent in getting as many of the solids out of the pot as possible using a strainer that is normally used for getting something out of a fryer.
Straining this was difficult when it was partially cooled. The fat and half gelled stock clotted my cheesecloth horribly. (This was after scooping out most of the fat beforehand!)
But best of all - this time the cold stock gelled!!!! 7 quarts was my yield. Plus about 5-6 oz of beef that was from the soup bones. Saved and ate that.
We've since made soup with that stock and diluted it with 2 quarts water. WOW - still intensely flavored and delicious.
Tho' this is just me trying to record how things work for us, I hope this gives you some ideas!