Beef Essence Or Extract
"To cook a heap of bones, beef and vegetables in a big pot for many hours
and have to show for it a small jar or two of meat essence is truly making
a molehill out of a mountain--but such a molehill! Possessing a batch of
this essence--glace de viande, is like having 8 quarts of strong beef stock
miraculously confined in a small container. Use it any time you like and
keep it as long as you care to--it is virtually immortal if frozen and
keeps several weeks refrigerated.
Add a Tbsp. of the essence to a cup of boiling water and you have better
and beefier broth than any you can buy canned, cubed, or powdered. A
little of this concentrate, stirred into any meat flavored preparation,
adds both body and savor. Glace de viande can rescue a pallid soup, a
vapid sauce, or a lackluster gravy, or it can be a sauce base on its own.
The extract is unsalted, for greater versatility when added to sauces and
such so add 1/4 tsp. of salt to the cup if your drinking the broth.
Makes 2 cups (reconstituted, about 8 quarts, or 1 cup of broth per Tbsp. of
6 pounds (or more) beef and veal bones, sawed into pieces by the butcher
(try to have the pieces cut no more than 2 to 3 inches long or wide.) 3-1/2
to 4 pounds boneless shin of beef, cut into 1 inch cubes 2 large, unpeeled
onions, one sliced, the other left whole 2 large carrots, scrubbed and cut
up coarsely Water as needed 2 ribs of celery, with leaves, cut up 1/2 tsp.
dried thyme, crumbled 1 medium bay leaf 1 whole clove 2 ripe tomatoes,
coarsely chunked 1 unpeeled clove garlic, left whole 2 or 3 sprigs parsley
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In one or two large, shallow roasting
pans spread all the bones and half of the shin beef, reserving the other
half in the refrigerator. Add the sliced onion and the cut up carrots.
Put the pan or pans into the oven and brown the ingredients for 40 to 50
minutes, stirring and turning them from time to time; you want a good
Pour off any fat and put the bones, meat, and vegetables into a very large
stock pot. Pour 2 or 3 cups of water into the roasting pan(s), then set
over direct heat and stir and scrape to dissolve all the brown bits. Pour
the deglazing liquid into the stock pot. Add enough water to cover
everything by about 2 inches. Add the celery, thyme, bay leaf, the second
onion (stuck with a single clove, tomatoes, garlic, and parsley.
Bring the liquid to a boil, then adjust the heat so that the pot,
partially covered, maintain a gentle simmer, with only an occasional
bubble. Skim off any foam at the beginning and cook everything for 7 or 8
hours, skimming occasionally (this is to achieve clarity in the finished
essence). The simmering can be interrupted for several hours, or
overnight; let the pot sit, uncovered, for up to 8 hours at room
temperature, then resume cooking when convenient. (Refrigerate for longer
times or if the weather is warm.)
After you judge all possible flavor has been extracted from the solids in
the pot, strain them all out, pressing on them with a spoon to extract all
the juices. Skim all fat from the strained broth, which by now will
amount to about 4 or 5 quarts. Strain the broth through a
cheesecloth-lined strainer into the washed out pot (or into a smaller one)
and add the remaining beef, which you have meanwhile chopped or ground to
the fineness of hamburger.
Resume simmering, skimming off fat and scum about every half hour. After
cooking the stock with the beef for 1-1/2 hours, strain out the meat,
pressing it to extract all possible flavor. Strain the broth through the
cheesecloth again a begin the final reduction. Resume simmering the
stock, cooking the ever-strengthening essence gently as long as necessary
for it to become a syrupy substance that will coat a cool metal spoon;
this may take up to 2 hours. (For the clearest essence, skim frequently.
However, the flavor of the finished product will be fine if you aren't too
fussy about the skimming; just be sure to skim off any fat that appears.
The essence is finished when it passes the metal-spoon test. Strain it
through a fine meshed metal strainer into small jars or pots and let it
cool, uncovered. Cover it closely and store in the refrigerator, or
freeze it. If frozen, scoop out with a hot spoon as needed.
Note: The exact yield will depend on how much collagen was contained in
the bones and meat--the more collagen, the sooner the jellying stage is
reached. The cooled essence will be firm, almost rubbery, and highly
concentrated in flavor. If any surface mold should eventually develop,
remove it--it's harmless.
From: Better Than Store Bought
Shared By: Pat Stockett
From the recipe collection of Fred Towner