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Beef Stock

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, I received my copy of The Complete Bocuse, and the first recipe is an Ox-Tail Consomme, which I am intrigued on making as I've never had ox-tail before. The recipe calls for 3.5 Litres of beef stock, but it doesn't actually specify a stock to make for it.


I understand using bones and moire-poix, bay leaf, etc, but how much would I need to get 3.5 Litres of properly reduced stock?

post #2 of 5

As a general rule for beef and veal stocks I use at least 1 Lb. of bone to 1 Qt. of water, and then reduce by a third or so after straining and degreasing. So for 3.5 Litres I'd make the stock using 5 to 6 Litres of water over 6 Lb.s of roasted bones. Do a long simmer with the bones, and then add the aromatics for about 2 hours at the end of the first cook. For aromatics I'd go with 4 carrots, 2 medium onions, 3 celery stalks w/leafs, and 4 large garlic cloves. Add bay, thyme, etc. to taste. You could add a couple tomatoes too if you'd like. That certainly isn't definitive, but it's fairly traditional.


I'm not sure of the recipe in the The Complete Bocuse, but for any consomme you'll want to make sure the stock is very well strained and as clear as you can get it. Also, for this use you might want to use 3 or 4 leeks instead of the onions.

post #3 of 5

The usual ratio for bone to water in clear beef stock is equal weights.  That is, one pint of water per lb of bones -- or one L water per kg bones. 


Roast the aromatic mirepoix (for beef stock, usually just carrot and onion, but celery is okay and leek instead of or in addition to onion is also okay) and the bones together until both are browned -- before making the stock.  Browning is an essential part of the process. 


If you use strong flavored aromatics (like garlic) or distinctive herbs, your stock will be anything but neutral.  Reserve those for farther-down-the-line cooking.  Also, keep the amount of salt you use way down as you may want to reduce the stock later for some other purpose. 


Put your roasted bones and mirepoix in a stock pot with cold water.  Think of stock as an infusion, like tea.  Don't boil the stock, simmer it.  If you boil the stock it will be cloudy and won't ever clarify. Bring the pot to temp as quickly as your burner will allow, but watch it carefully and don't let it boil for more than a second or two.  Reduce to a simmer. 


Skim the scum from the stock frequently, until it stops producing scum. 



post #4 of 5

Listen to the good man bdl, I've learned how to make stock from this guy.  I always get a nice clear stock by not allowing it to boil.  I do have some additions to the stock though - I like to add bay leaf to beef stock and also a tsp of tomato paste.  Be careful about not adding too much paste, that stuff is powerful but will add an unctiousness you won't have otherwise.  I usually add some rind from a block of parmesan as well because my beef stock usually goes into making mediterranean style hearty soups, don't know if that would work from a consomme.  And a little thyme works beautifully with beef as well.  And a shot of vermouth never hurt anyone.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."


"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply guys. I will definitely follow your instructions bdl. And I won't be adding any aromatics since it Is used in a consomme and I don't want it to effect the final products flavour. Thank you again.
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