Look for soup bones–including necks, shanks, knuckles, backs and marrow bones–at the meat department at your supermarket. (You may need to ask the butcher.) Be sure to roast the bones until they become very dark brown in color (almost burnt in some places) to give your broth the richest flavor and deepest color. To remove the most fat, refrigerate the broth overnight.
- 4 pounds beef soup bones
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 4 stalks celery (with leaves), cut into 3-inch pieces
- 2 medium onions, quartered
- 2 medium tomatoes, halved
- 1 head garlic, halved crosswise
- 16 cups cold water
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar (see Tip)
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- Step 1
Arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 400 degrees F.
Place soup bones on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Roast on the bottom rack for 30 minutes.
Combine carrots, celery, onions, tomatoes and garlic on a second rimmed baking sheet. Move the bones to the upper rack and place the vegetables on the lower rack. Roast until the bones are deep brown and the vegetables are starting to brown in spots, 30 to 45 minutes more.
Transfer the bones and vegetables to a 10- to 12-quart stockpot. Add 1 cup water to the bone pan and scrape up any browned bits with a wooden spoon; add to the pot. Add the remaining 15 cups water, vinegar, thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns and salt. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a low simmer and cook, covered, for 8 hours.
Remove the bones (if desired, remove any meat from the bones and save for another use). Strain the broth through a large sieve into a large bowl; discard the solids. Skim fat from the surface, if desired.
Tip: Adding a splash of vinegar to stock or broth before it starts simmering helps to break down collagen in the bones, which releases more gelatin. The additional gelatin improves the body, texture and flavor of the stock.
To make ahead: Refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for at least 3 months.
Equipment: 10- to 12-quart stockpot
Per Serving: 1 calories; calcium 11.6mg; magnesium 3.9mg; potassium 6mg; sodium 587.5mg.