makes about 2½ quarts
Note: Since you may not want to (or be able to) drink all of your stock in 3 days (the approximate amount of time it will keep), once it is completely cool, it can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Do this before roasting and boiling to remove impurities from the bones. if you’re using the right bones, there will be some nasty bits A real bone broth is made with bones and cuts of meat high in collagen, like marrow, knuckles, and feet. Blanching removes the bits that can give you broth a musty quality. The point of bone broth is to extract the delicious and nutritious collagen from the bones. This should result in a broth (aka. stock) that has a gelatinous layer – even at room temperature, and definitely after refrigeration. The gelatin is the goal!
To blanch, cover the bones with cold water, bring to a boil, and let them cook at an aggressive simmer for 20 minutes. Drain into a colander.
Preheat your oven to 425°F. Roast bones in a roasting pan (or a rimmed baking sheet) in middle rack for 30 minutes. Add celery, onion, and carrots (this combination is known as mirepoix) on sheet; roast until the vegetable begin to brown – about 10-15 minutes. Spread tomato paste (optional) over bones and vegetables and roast 5 minutes more; let cool. The end goal is to have bones and vegetables that are browned. This develops the natural sugars (caramelizes) the meat and vegetables; this is what will give your stock a rich flavor and golden brown color.
Transfer bones and vegetables to a large pot (larger than you think!); pour in cold (filtered) water to cover. Add herb stems, bay leaves, peppercorns. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, skimming fat and foam from surface (about every 15 minutes at the beginning; less frequently as the impurities are skimmed off), until caramel colored and flavorful, about 3 hours (minimum; you can simmer longer if you have the time or want to experiment with how this changes the flavor). Strain stock through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl, pressing on solids; discard solids (or maybe your dog would like a treat). Note: if you have to add water do not add cold water! Boil filtered water and add as need so as to keep the bones and vegetables covered.
Hot broth can be a breeding ground for bacteria. It needs to be cooled quickly. Use this method: Fill a large container or clean sink with ice and a small amount of water. Place the kettle of soup into the ice bath. Stir the soup to release heat and aid cooling. Alternately, you can transfer to a shallow and wide container (I use my Pyrex baking glass), where it will cool faster (more surface area). [Important: I do not recommend using plastic. The heat of the stock can release chemicals from the plastic into your food.] This will also keep the broth fresher for a longer period of time. DO NOT PUT STEAMING HOT BROTH IN THE REFIGERATOR. This can actually cause the growth of bacteria (the liquid stays in the danger zone longer (refer to inset) and it will raise the temperature of the refrigerator. This could cause other food in your refrigerator to spoil.
Never leave food in the “Danger Zone” over 2 hours. The “Danger Zone” is the temperature range between 40 and 140 F in which bacteria can grow rapidly. To keep food out of the Danger Zone, keep cold food cold, at or below 40 F, and hot food hot, at or above 140 F
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