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Making Beef Stock from Scratch
Beef stock might not be something that you have thought of making before because it is so easy to buy pre-made, however most commercially prepared beef stocks contain FODMAPs as well as superfluous ingredients we don’t want. It is true that companies are cropping up with low FODMAP broths and stocks, so make sure to keep an eye out, but nothing compares to homemade. This is easy to make but you do need time.
We actually like to simmer ours on the stove for 24 hours but you will have to decide whether you feel comfortable letting it cook while you are sleeping. If you have a large enough slow cooker you can also prepare this on low for the same amount of time. You can read about our process in our article Making Beef Stock.
Long Simmering Time Creates Depth of Flavor
The extended cooking time is necessary to yield a richly flavored stock. That said, we have to employ some tricks as well. Traditionally, onions and garlic are simmered with the bones for maximum flavor, but since this would allow the water-soluble high FODMAP fructans in the onions and garlic to leach into the stock, we cannot take that approach. To add flavor that might be missing we take advantage of the fact that the fructans are not oil soluble and begin with browning the meaty bones in Garlic-Infused Oil. We also add some extra ingredients like umami-rich tomato paste and soy sauce, which add to the desired savory-ness that we are looking for.
Blanching – No. Roasting – YES!
Some classic recipes recommend blanching the bones before roasting to remove impurities within the bones. In fact, some chefs believe that stocks made from unblanched bones end up being too funky and lack finesse, however, since we have to leave out some high FODMAP ingredients, we want to retain as much flavor as we can, so we do not blanch the bones for our low FODMAP version. We do, however, roast the bones along with leek greens and carrots, after the meaty bones have been browned in Garlic-Infused Oil. In the image above you can see the meaty bones and veggies are ready to go into a very hot oven. We use heavy duty rimmed baking sheet pans – the same ones we use when baking cookies!
Bone Broth? It Ain’t New
By the way, the “new” terminology of calling a beef stock “bone broth” is somewhat maddening. Classic chefs have always used bones and an extended cooking time to make a rich broth. The addition of an acid like vinegar to help the bones break down isn’t new either. Wine, which is acidic, has been part of stock making since the recipes were first developed. We can look back decades to Julia Child or even over 100 years to Escoffier to realize that a traditional Beef Stock is just having a resurgence because it is classically delicious.
Chill Baby, Chill
In the images above and below you are looking at what we call Beef Jell-O! After cooking, cooling and straining we suggest an overnight refrigeration period, during which time the fat will congeal on the surface, allowing you to skim it away very easily. The stock is so rich in collagen, that this is the texture that you get when chilled! After heating it liquifies into the dark, rich stock that you can see in the top photo.
Low FODMAP Beef Stock
Low FODMAP Beef Stock is easy to make at home but make sure to allow yourself some time for the stock to simmer for hours.
Low FODMAP Serving Size Info: Makes about 2 quarts (2 L); serving size 1 cup (240 ml)
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) of EITHER Low FODMAP Garlic-Infused Oil or Onion-Infused Oil, made with vegetable oil or purchased equivalent
- 4 pounds (1.8 kg) of beef bones, such as a combination of meaty neck bones, knuckle bones, oxtail and marrow bones, cut into 2-inch (5 cm) thick pieces by the butcher
- 3 cups (45 g) roughly chopped leeks, green parts only
- 2 medium carrots, scrubbed and cut into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces
- 2 medium (225 g) parsnips, scrubbed and cut into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces
- 1 medium celery stalk, cut into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce, use gluten-free if following a gluten-free diet
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 bunch fresh flat leaf parsley, roughly torn
- 4 medium sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 14 cups water
- Position rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 450°F/230°C. Have a heavy, rimmed sheet pan at hand.
- Heat oil over medium heat in a large 8 to 10 quart (2 L to 2.4 L) heavy stockpot. Add the meaty bones and begin to brown them in the oil for about 3 minutes or until you get all the meaty bone surfaces infused with the flavorful oil.
- Scatter the leeks all over the sheet pan. Don’t wash the stockpot, as you will be returning to it shortly. Transfer the browned bones to the sheet pan on top of the leeks. Roast for 20 minutes, stir the leeks and bones around and roast for 20 to 25 more minutes or until the bones are well browned. Don’t worry if the leeks look a little charred.
- Scrape everything from the sheet pan, juices and all, into the waiting stockpot. Add carrots, parsnips, celery, tomato paste, peppercorns, soy sauce, salt, parsley, thyme and bay leaves to pot. Add the 14 cups of water; it should cover the solids. Add more water if it doesn’t just to cover all of the ingredients by about an inch (2.5 cm).
- Bring stock to a very low simmer. Cover but leave lid slightly ajar and adjust heat so that the stock can simmer for an extended period of time. You want the surface just rippling. Check from time to time and skim any froth that might rise to the surface and discard. Also check water levels; add water as needed to keep solids submerged. Gently simmer for at least 12 hours; we let ours simmer overnight for 24 hours, but use your judgment about whether you feel comfortable with this.
- Line a fine meshed strainer or chinois with a quadruple layer of cheesecloth. Remove the bones and any large solid pieces of ingredients from the pot using a large slotted spoon. Pour the stock in batches through the cheesecloth to strain out any and all solid bits and pieces. You should have a nice clear dark brown stock. You can strain multiple times through clean cheesecloth if you like.
- Cooling the stock quickly and efficiently is necessary to prevent bad bacteria from developing. We separate the hot stock into a few shallow bowls set over ice. Do not put hot stock in the refrigerator, as that will trap a lot of heat in the center, which is a perfect breeding ground for the kind of bacteria that you don’t want. Once the stock is barely warm you can refrigerate it in one airtight container overnight. A layer of fat will congeal and can be easily skimmed away and discarded. Now you have beef Jell-O! The collagen rich bones will leave you with a stock that is solid when chilled. You can refrigerate the stock for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 6 months. Use as a base for soups and stews or simply sip as a rich, restorative stock.
- You might see recipes for “bone broth” all over the internet that exclaim that it is necessary to add vinegar to extract minerals and nutrition from the bones. First of all, it is questionable that the average 5% acidic strength of apple cider vinegar in the amount used in stock recipes has a significant effect on the nutritional aspects of the final stock. The bones will break down with extended cooking and furthermore, one of the hallmarks of a poorly made stock is sourness, which vinegar can add in the recommended amounts. Our goal is making a delicious, rich, beef low-FODMAP broth and find it unnecessary to add vinegar.
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more. For a more detailed explanation, please read our article Understanding The Nutrition Panel Within Our Recipes.
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