I experimented with a cold green lentil salad, which I’ll probably make one more time before posting, as a way to get warmed back up. Until then, here’s a recipe for a killer beef stock. The flavor comes from beef short ribs, which are just packed with big meaty flavors.
The rest of the stock is utterly simple: I use an Argentine Malbec for intensity and a simple mirepoix for the base. Rather than a complex boquet garnis of various herbs you may not be able to find, keep it simple with flavorful Italian parsley.
You may have noticed that I’m a big fan of cooking with red wine….especially Malbecs. Whether they are in a Carrot & Onion Soup or simply as a reduction sauce for grilled meat, I like what wine brings to the dish. Though the same rule applies here for cooking with wine as everywhere else, if you wouldn’t serve a glass of it to guests, don’t cook with it.
To make the ribs even more flavorful, I roast them ahead of time. A good 45 minutes in the oven will bring on a great flavor that will ooze into the stock.
The pressure cooker method is based largely on one published in Modernist Cuisine at Home. Their choice of meats was ground chuck and oxtail. I also skipped the leeks and thyme.
When the cooking is done, pull out the ribs and set them aside. Once they cool, you’ll notice you can basically poke the meat off of the bones. There should still be some meaty goodness left in them. I found them pretty hard to resist. It was so tender that I wound up saving some for my 18 month old son, who gobbled it all right up.
One other thing you’ll notice: two and a half hours of pressure cooking beef stock will leave your home smelling like a steakhouse.
What to do with all of this stock? Well, I made some rather incredible French Onion Soup. More on that later….
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- 2 Pounds Beef Short Ribs
- 2 Tablepoons Olive Oil
- 5 Cups Water
- 2 Cups Bold Red Wine
- 1 Cup Carrots (chopped)
- 1 Cup Yellow Onion (sliced)
- 1/2 Cup Celery (chopped)
- 3 Tablespoons Italian Parsley (roughly chopped)
- 2 Bay Leaves
- Trim any excess fat from the short ribs, toss them in olive oil and roast them in an oven for 45 minutes at 375 degrees. Boost your oven to maximum for the last 5 minutes to intensify the flavor
- Add about 2 tablespoons of the rendered beef fat from the baking dish to your pressure cooker and heat to medium
- Add the carrots, onion, celery and parsley to the pressure cooker and cook for about 5 minutes
- Add the water, red wine, beef and bay leaves and mix well
- Seal your pressure cooker, increase heat and cook for 2 1/2 hours once pressure has been reached
- After a quick release, carefully remove the meat from the cooker
- Pass the stock through a sieve or cheesecloth to finish. Yield should be about 4-5 cups, depending up on evaporation in the pressure cooking process