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Old 10-14-2010, 08:57 PM   #1
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Is it worth making beef broth for stew?

I want to make this again - see link below. I've made it in the past and really enjoy it.

I've always used canned beef broth. Is it worth making homemade broth? Would I just buy a couple (?) beef bones and throw some stock stuff in like onions, celery etc. and make a broth like I do with a chicken carcass? Will a few beef bones suffice?

Not looking to go crazy here - just need a good 4-6 cups of beef broth to play it safe.

Here is the link to the recipe. Very good too!!!

My Kitchen Snippets: Beef Stew in Red Wine.

The only thing I do different is I cut up all my potatoes and veggies on the small side, because that is how we like it.

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Old 10-14-2010, 09:14 PM   #2
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Making beef broth is a much longer process than making chicken broth. Because of the size of beef/veal bones, they have to be cooked for half a day. If you're going to invest that much time. Make the biggest batch you can and freeze it or make a demi-glace.

For a small batch of stew, stick with some low sodium beef broth.
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Old 10-14-2010, 09:29 PM   #3
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ya ill probably make some more chicken stock soon. I'm thinking I might not be in the mood for a project like this, just to make some beef stew.
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Old 10-14-2010, 09:55 PM   #4
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I've developed a shortcut for making very tasty beef stock. But it does take some planning. When I go to brown ground beef for a meat sauce, or sloppy joes, or whatever, I place a lid on the pan to capture the liquid. When the meat is grey, I drain the liquid into a suitable container and place it in the fridge. Ground beef has connective tissue, and fat in it. The fat floats to the top of the liquid and hardens as it cools, to be lifted off and discarded. You are left with a gelled broth that is full of dissolved collagen and flavor. It has sufficient collagen to form into a firm gelatin.

To make this same quality from bones, you need to boil them for about 5 hours to extract the collagen and flavor from the bone structure, cartillage, and marrow.

I did take a day and boil up about 15 lbs. of bones for about ten hours. After draining the broth, I had an amazing broth that I divided into portions and froze. But for a single batch of stew, the ground beef trick works well. After pouring off the broth, continue to brown the ground beef a bit, to enhance the flavor and get that good brown color. Season with salt and save the meat for your next batch of whatever you need browned ground beef for.

Your stew will get additional flavor from the beef and beef fat in your stew. Hope this helps.

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Old 10-15-2010, 10:20 AM   #5
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I make a couple batches of beef broth each winter...roasting bones and veg and scraps first, then simmering with some ground beef (the raft). I tend to use it for soups where the clean fresh flavor really shines, but once I used it in a stew and the flavor was excellent. Had I more time I would make it as often as I do chicken and fish broths. I have only made brown veal stock once at home (several times in culinary school) and it is an amazing item, but even for "fancy" home cooking it is not a regular.

Frankly, a simple veg broth will take your cooking up a notch and used with wine and deglazing, pince of tomato paste etc, is all you need to make really fine food. Fresher and cheaper than canned broth or base.
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Old 10-15-2010, 03:48 PM   #6
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I do the same thing when I cook a roast. I save the juices that collect. It probably could use some thinning down for stock use, but man is it tasty.
I pour it into a small pyrex condiment bowl and set in fridge and skim off the bit of fat that forms at the top.

Granted there's not a lot of it either. What should I do to stretch it out? Add a little plain water?
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Old 10-15-2010, 06:05 PM   #7
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I would just use water or vegi stock and stick a bone in the stew ;)
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