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This stock is expensive and time-consuming to prepare, but it is delicious.
Makes 3 quarts.
6 pounds meaty beef shanks, cut into 2 inch pieces
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
3 stalks celery, cut into 2 inch pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 parsley sprigs
2 thyme branches
1/2 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
optional: 1 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2. Roast the meaty shanks in a heavy-duty roasting pan for 20-25 minutes, until thoroughly browned, turning once.
3. Over medium-high heat, saute the carrots, onions, and celery in olive oil for 5 minutes to caramelize them lightly.
4. Put the roasted bones and 5 quarts of cold water in a large stainless steel stockpot and bring to a boil.
5. Deglaze the roasting pan with a little water, scraping the bottom well with a wooden spoon. Add all drippings to the stock pot.
6. When the stock comes to a full boil, skim off the gray foam. Add the carrots, onions, celery , parsley, thyme, bay, peppercorns, and if you wish, salt. Use salt sparingly if you intend to make a reduction later.
7. Turn the heat to low and simmer very slowly for 4-5 hours, until the broth tastes rich and is a light caramel color. Strain through a fine-mesh colander or sieve. Allow stock to cool completely; remove fat from the surface and promptly refrigerate. The stock is ready for use.