Beef Stock

Just like the modern times, stock was a frequently used ingredient in the past. I will be giving recipes which asks for stock, so I thought it would be best if I gave the recipe for stock first.

This recipe is the first recipe in the book “A Manual of Turkish Cookery” by Turabi Efendi. This book is very important as it is the first publication in a foreign language about the Ottoman Cuisine. Here is the recipe for beef stock:

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Beef Stock

Ingredients

  • 2 - 3 kg veal shanks or anklebone
  • 3 - 4 onions cut into 4
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 16 glasses of water

Instructions

  1. Wash the meat and bones and place them in a saucepot with the salt and water.
  2. Add the onions and celery and turn on the heat high until it starts to boil.
  3. Once it starts to boil reduce the heat to lowest and keep on boiling until all the meat falls off the bones. Skim the foam every now and then.
  4. When ready, take the bones and meat out, sieve the liquid into the cup you will keep it. Later use however you like.

Here is the easy (modern) Beef Stock preparation:

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This is the traditional method:

As you can see the recipe is very easy. I saw many other recipes on the internet. Some call for black peppers, some only ask for bones and water. Some boil the meat as they are, some prefer to roast them in an oven first.

However, I followed the recipe from Turabi Efendi, because it was winter and it’s the season for the celeriac. And a stalk of celery wouldn’t hurt anyone. Modern bouillons usually have ground celeriac in them.

You can think of using a block of bouillon for the sake of ease and convenience. Yet, bouillons tend to have many additives and preservatives in them. Most, if not all, have Monosodium Glutamate, which has questions about its safety. With this recipe you will need to spend some time and you will need a space to save the stock for later use, but you will not need to ingest chemicals you don’t want to.

Notes:

  • If the bones are too large, make sure the sides with the marrow face down and are in the water. The marrow is important for the taste.
  • Modern science says vinegar helps break down calcium in the bones and help it to blend into the liquid. So, I added a teaspoon of vinegar to the water.
  • You can use a pressure cooker to save time. If so, skim the froth after the first boil and close the lid and continue the pressure cooking.
  • If you will use the stock in a short time, you can keep it in sealed glass jars in the refrigerator. If you don’t want to prepare stock every week, you can remove the fat on top and pour the liquids in plastic glasses or cups and freeze them. You can use them from frozen in most cases.