Friday, April 17, 2009

Beef Stock (Page 928)


  • Date: Sunday, April 5, 2009 -- 8pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B

I made this recipe because I needed some beef stock to make French onion soup. This recipe called for two pounds of meaty beef shanks and two pounds of meaty veal shanks (amongst other things), which I figured would be no problem -- my local butcher shop would certainly have them. Indeed they did, but what I didn't expect was the following: the beef shanks were something like $5 a pound, which seemed perfectly reasonable, but the veal shanks were $23 a pound! Yes, $23 a pound for something that is largely bone. Now, I essentially never deviate from The Book's directions, but even I couldn't justify throwing $46 of veal alone into a pot of stock. So I cheated a little. I bought 3 pounds of beef shanks, 1 pound of veal shanks, and then I bought some veal soup bones to give the stock some of the gelatin that would have come out of the missing pound of veal shank. To start this recipe I roasted the beef shanks, veal shanks, and veal bones with onions and carrots until browned. Then I dumped it all in a big stockpot, along with water, celery, salt, and a bouquet garni of parsley, thyme, and bay leaf. I simmered it for five hours, then strained it and skimmed off the fat. This stock was pretty good. Beef stock is my least favorite of the standard stocks (which is a little mysterious since I LOVE beef). It had a decent flavor to it though and a nice mouthfeel. The recipe was a perfectly good standard beef stock recipe.

Here is the recipe.

This week has been so hectic that I haven't even mentioned our big news: my special gentleman and I put an offer on a house on Sunday! We went up to East Lansing over the weekend. It was our second house-hunting trip. On our first trip, a few weeks ago, we saw 17 houses in one day (yes, seriously!). It was intense. There was one house we fell in love with, but after 17 houses in one day we were too exhausted to make any decisions. So we thought about it for a week or so and then went back and revisited it. That second trip was this past Saturday -- we went through our top 4 houses from the previous trip, plus a handful of other houses we hadn't seen yet. We discovered that we liked our favorite house even more the second time. We thought about it overnight and decided to write an offer the next morning! This was a big deal for us. We have both moved around so much in the last decade that we have always rented. So this will be our first house! That is, if we get it... Unfortunately the situation is very complicated (from the seller's end, not ours), and so we might not get the house due to things outside of both his and our control. And whether or not we get the house, it could be weeks or months before we find out. So we are waiting! I am hopeful though. I love, love, love the house and it is a great location for us (an easy walk to campus!). Keep your fingers crossed for us!


Julie said...

Hey there! Long time reader, first time commenter. First, thanks for the FYI on the veal shank. Yikes! Second, welcome to the Mitten! I live in Old Town Lansing and there's a pretty decent food scene here. Give me a shout if you want recommendations. Kudos on the home purchase.

Teena said...

Julie - We are definitely looking forward to exploring the food scene in the Lansing area! Do you have any recommendations about where to grocery shop?

M and M said...

Lansing is lucky to have you two - and I can't wait to visit you. I bet the house is darling and I'll be crossing my fingers for you both.

Teena said...

Meghan -- We would love to have you guys visit anytime! We're still waiting to hear about our house though...