There is really no substitute for a well-flavoured, home-made beef stock. It is an essential ingredient in many dishes, sauces and soups, and is simple to make. Although the stock takes a long time to prepare, a large quantity can be made at one time and then stored in a freezer for future use. Properly covered, with the fat unskimmed from the top, stock can also be kept in the refrigerator for about
2 lb. beef shin bone, cut into pieces
1 marrow bone
6 pints water large onion, cut in half carrots, cut in big pieces
1 large leek, cut in half and carefully washed
1 celery stalk
4 cloves bouquet garni, consisting of
4 parsley sprigs,
1 thyme spray and
1 bay leaf tied in a piece of cheesecloth
1 tablespoon salt
Place the bones in a large pan with the water and bring slowly to the boil over low heat. Skim the surface with a table- spoon to remove the scum. Continue to remove the scum as it rises.
When the scum stops rising, add the remaining ingredients, cover and simmer gently for 4 hours, or until the liquid is reduced by half.
Strain the stock through a sieve lined with two layers of cheesecloth into a large bowl. If you are going to use the stock immediately, cool it and remove the fat. If you are storing the stock, leave the layer of fat intact.