3-4 lbs meaty raw beef bones
2 each: large carrots, onions, and celery ribs, chopped
6 or more quarts cold water
a large size herb bouquet plus 4 allspice berries and 6 peppercorns
2 large cloves unpeeled garlic, smashed
1 1/2 tsp salt, plus more as needed later
How to prepare
The bones to choose: raw beef bones, some of them meaty, are what you want here, such as shank, the neck, the knuckle; leg bones. An oxtail will give extra flavor and pleasantly slightly gelatinous texture. Preheat the oven to 450 f. Arrange the bones and 1/2 cup each of the chopped vegetables in the roasting pan and brown, turning and basting with accumulated fat several times until they are walnut brown. Put bones and vegetables into the pot (an 8 qt. Or so ); pour out and discard accumulated fat. Pour 2 cups of the water into the pan and bring to the boil over moderately high heat; and de glaze, then pour the liquid over the browned bones in the pot. Add the herb bouquet to the kettle and the rest of the vegetables listed with enough of the water to cover the ingredients by 2″. Bring to the simmer on top of the stove; skim off and discard gray scum that will collect on the surface for several minutes. Add 1 1/2 tsp salt. Cover loosely, and maintain at the slow simmer, skimming off fat and scum occasionally, and adding a little boiling water if the liquid has evaporated below the surface of the ingredients. Simmer until you feel the bones have given their all. Strain the stock through a colander into a bowl, pressing juices out of the ingredients. Degrease the stock and season lightly to taste. Strain again, this time through a fine meshed sieve into a clean pan or container. May be prepared in advance; chill uncovered, then cover and refrigerate or freeze.