This recipe for collagen-rich beef stock comes from Jennifer McLagan's cookbook Odd Bits, her term for the "more economical, but less lovable part of the beast."
Servings: Makes 6 to 7 cups
1 large onion, unpeeled, cut into wedges
2 carrots, sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 leek trimmed, quartered
4.5 pounds mixed beef “odd bits” cut into 2- to 3-inch pieces – along with bones or feet
3 quarts cold water
1 large tomato, halved
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
Mushroom trimmings (optional)
3 stems flat-leaf parsley
3 large sprigs thyme
1 fresh bay leaf
1/4 tsp black peppercorns
Preheat the oven to 425 F.
Scatter the onion, carrots, celery and leek over the bottom of a large roasting pan. Rinse the odd bits under cold running water, pat dry and place on top of the vegetables.
Roast for 1 hour, or until the odd bits are well browned, turning them once or twice. Remove from oven and lower the temperature to 250 F.
Using tongs, transfer the odd bits and vegetables to a large stockpot. Discard any fat from the pan. Add 2 cups of water to the pan and bring to a boil over medium heat, deglazing by scraping up the browned bits from the pan bottom. Pour this liquid into the stockpot and add the tomato, garlic, mushroom trimmings, parsley, thyme and bay leaf. Add the remaining cold water, making sure it covers the odd bits. Place over low heat and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, remove from heat and, using a soup ladle, skim off any scum that has risen to the surface. Add peppercorns and put it in the oven to cook for 8 hours or overnight, skimming from time to time if you’re awake.
Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes. Strain the stock through a sieve into a large bowl. Discard the debris in the sieve, and cool the stock quickly by placing the bowl in a larger bowl or sink filled with ice water; stir occasionally.
Refrigerate the stock overnight to allow the fat to rise to the top and any debris to sink to the bottom. Remove the fat and set it aside for another use and discard the debris. The stock will keep for up to three days in the refrigerator or frozen for up to six months.