Stock was one of those things that took me a very long time to figure out how to make correctly. I would boil the bones for hours and at the end I was left with a very weak stock that made me wonder how it could be any better than water in recipes. I remember one failure very well, I had 3 or 4 chicken carcasses, onion and garlic and a little salt in a pot boiling for hours. I kept tasting the stock and thinking, this tastes nothing like chicken. I boiled the stock so long that the bones themselves started to fall apart and it still tasted like nothing. I strained it and then proceed to reduce the stock in an attempt to concentrate the flavors. I reduced it so much that I had two cups of halfway decent stock at the end and I swear half of it was chicken fat. I figured I must just not be doing it right, so I tried different recipes from many different chefs and it never came out quite right. Furthermore, some of the recipes were just plain stupid. I remember one recipe I read that called for the use of 3 whole chickens… Now, while Ina Garten might have enough money to use three chickens to make stock, I sure as hell don’t and decided I would just give up and buy stock.
This worked pretty well while all I needed was chicken stock and for the most part I made due. Then, one fateful Thanksgiving, I wanted turkey stock and could not find it anywhere. What to do?! I knew boiling the bones in water would not give me the flavor I was after and that’s when it hit me, pan drippings are super flavorful, what if I roast the bones and then add water and boil that for a bit. I gave it a try and voila, instant awesome!! Turns out I am not the first person to think of this, it’s a “classic” stock, but for me it was a revelation and it’s so much easier to make that this is how I make all my stock. For this recipe I use Lamb but you can substitute any bone. I find using a Le Creuset in this recipe is the easiest, you can go from roasting to boiling with no change of pan or loss of the yummy bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.
1.5-2lbs Lamb Bones – I prefer hip or shoulder bones but any bones will work
1 onion – cut in half (you don’t have to bother peeling if you don’t want)
9 cloves garlic – whole (you don’t have to bother peeling if you don’t want)
Preheat oven to 400°F
Place the bones, onion and garlic into a Dutch Oven and place in hot oven.
Cook until the bones are browned, about 30-45 minutes. You are looking for a dark brown, just be careful you don’t hit black.
Move the Dutch Oven to the stove and add water to cover the bones. Boil for 2-3 hours or until the bones are clean.
Strain the stock and put in the fridge. The fat will solidify on the top, you can then scoop this up and either throw it away or save it to cook with.
This makes a lot of stock, enough for 3 roasts or 2 soups and freezes really well in zip top bags.
PS. Can I just say how EPIC that steam looks coming off the ladle? Love it!! All credit for that shot goes to the hubby!!!