So here’s the thing about homemade beef stock. It’s rather…well, kind of a pain. Now don’t get me wrong, homemade stock is always better than store bought. If you are going to make Pho from scratch at home, I would recommend taking the extra step of making stock, if you have the time. For most of us though, we just don’t have that kind time. When I was in culinary school, the instructors taught us the classic method of making beef stock, and we started in the morning only to finish the next afternoon. That’s about 36 hours folks!
Here I have created a somewhat quicker version, and one that packs enough beefy power to fuel even the French-iest of French onion soup.
Ooh la la!
- 3-4 pounds beef bones and beef ribs*
- 2 medium onions quartered
- 4 carrots chopped into two inch pieces
- 4 celery ribs chopped into two inch pieces
- one head garlic, halved horizontally
- 1 6oz can tomato paste
- Salt and pepper
- 2 bayleaves
- 4 quarts water (you may need more)
Season meat/bones and vegetables with salt and pepper, and coat with tomato paste.
Roast on a parchment lined sheet pan and in a preheated 350F oven for one hour, or until the tomato paste is dark brown and clear juices are coming out of the ribs. Remove from oven and put directly into your large stock pot. Pour in water to cover bones and add bayleaves.
Bring to boil and skim off the scum that rises to the top. Lower to a simmer and let go for at least four hours (up to eight). The stock should be a rich brown color, and have a nice umami aroma. With this stock I suggest you do not use it right away, instead cooling completely in a shallow pan uncovered in the fridge. A thick layer of fat will harden at the top. When it has cooled long enough, you will be able to remove the fat and have a very rich stock left behind.
*Note – Ask the butcher for “soup” bones, and ask them to cut the ribs in half horizontally.