Beef Stock – How to Boil

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 17,103
    Whole food chef and food educator Monica Corrado demonstrates how to boil your nutrient rich beef stock.

    Monica Corrado

    Monica Corrado is a whole food chef and food educator, with a private practice called Simply Being Well in Takoma Park, Maryland. She owned an organic catering company for several years which prepared food from local, organic and sustainable farms, and catered to environmental and “green” groups, embassies, as well as individuals throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Monica was a founding member of one of the first CSAs (community supported agriculture) in her area in 1998. She has knowledge of biodynamic agriculture and Ayurveda, as well as 10 years study in alternative healing modalities. Her desire to “teach people to fish” instead of “giving them a fish” led to the opening of her practice in 2006. Monica uses her knowledge and experience to assist clients in expanding their awareness of the relationship between food and wellness. She believes that food can heal and food can keep one healthy: good, clean food which is prepared well is a cornerstone for well-being. To this end, Monica conducts private and group cooking classes on nourishing, traditional foods, and helps people sort out the confusing messages about what is good for you and what is not. She has taught hundreds of people how to cook nourishing, traditional foods for themselves and their families. Some of her clients are cancer survivors, menopausal women, new moms and dads, and others like you who are interested in using food to heal and / or to “simply be well”. Monica is a member of the Honorary Board of the Weston A. Price Foundation.

    Hi, its Monica Corrado with Simply Being Well, and we are about to bring our stock to a roiling boil, and then skim the scum. So, here we have our beef stock, and were just going to turn that stove right on high, and we will bring this to boil, and as it comes to a boil you will notice scum rising to the top of the pot - very important to skim this scum right off and discard it. It is the sign of impurities in the bones; all bones have them, its not a big deal whether they are organic or not. So we will just keep this on high and wait for the boiling to begin and wait for the scum to rise to the surface.

    Okay, so here we are, weve got our stock at a roiling boil, and we have got some really good scum on here to skim. So, we take a ladle and we take something to put the scum in; Ive just got a two-quart liquid measure here -- two-cup pardon me, and were just going to go in. Keep your ladle straight up and down if you can, and were just going to skim that scum. These are all the impurities in the bones, and we really dont want impurities in our stock because our stock is to be healthful, nutritious, delicious. So, the more skimming you can do and the more scum you can get off of the surface of the stock, the better off its going to -- the better it will taste and the better it will be for you. And were just putting all the scum into this two-cup measure, and then well discard it.

    Okay, at this point we can lower the heat, and were going to go for -- were going to call it a simmer, but what we need to do is go for -- just lower that heat, if you got a gas stove its great, if you dont, you even have to play with your electric stove a little bit to make sure that you get to a temperature where the top of the stock is actually still, and underneath it you will see some roiling going on, you see some movement going on; thats what were looking for. So were going to play with this a little bit. It we call a simmer, but it really is a low temperature but its still high enough to have movement in the stock underneath the surface of the stock. Again, I am just taking the rest of the -- little bit of scum in there and we have some beautiful vegetables in there; you can see the thyme floating on the top, see the beef bone and we will just see if we can get to that state of stillness and movement underneath at the same time. You dont want to cover your beef stock; you want to leave the top off. Thats going to fill your house with wonderful aroma of delicious beef simmering, but also its going to help for the liquid to evaporate and for you to get a nice intense gelatinous broth, which is what were looking for, which is what we really want to happen is that gelatin state -- and the reason that we want that again is because gelatin assists in digestion.

    Now, lets talk a little bit about how much time beef stock needs to roil -- thats what we call it roiling when youve got stillness on the top and youve got movement on the bottom underneath -- in the stock underneath. It needs to roil for at least 12 hours and up to 72 hours. Now I am sure youre sitting there saying, 72 hours? I cant let my stock roil for three days; I have to go to work and etcetera. So, what I like to tell people do is what I call cumulative time; and cumulative time means that you can roil the stock for a certain amount of time, turn it off and then bring it back up to a boil, skim the scum again and bring it back down to a simmer - and just keep track of how much time youre actually cooking the stock for.

    So you want to go 12-72 hours again; cumulative time is fine. You can leave it on the stove with a cover on it when you leave the house and then just bring it back up to a boil. When you get back home, skim that scum if anything comes up, put it back down to the simmer and let it just roil for another 10 or 12 hours or as long as it is that you are going to be home.

    So here we have got a really good roiling boil going on underneath here, or what we could call a roiling simmer; on the top its very, very still and underneath you have got some really good movement -- very small bubbles, but you have got some really good movement, and this is the state that you want to roil the stock in for 12-72 hours. So, just play with it, play with the temperature on your stove if youve got a gas stove or an electric stove until you can get to the place where you actually can see movement. If you cant see movement, you are not getting the action we need to draw the minerals out of the bones and to actually concentrate the flavors in the stock etcetera. So you really do have to check it a couple of times as you go along.