Julia Child’s Brown Stock


This is a third of the brown stock I made for the onion soup I posted about the other day.  I’ve bottled it up like the precious liquid it is and is now sitting in the freezer waiting for the next dish.  I haven’t decided what that’s going to be just yet.

This is the first time I made this brown stock.  I usually just boil whatever leftovers I have for a simple meat stock or use a bouillon.

There’s only one step that differentiates brown stock from ordinary meat stock and that’s  the roasting process.But what a big difference it made, not only in the color but in the flavor as well.

Brown Stock:

3 lbs. beef shank meat

3 to 4 lbs. cracked beef bones/soup bones

2 onions, halved

2 scrubbed quartered carrots

2 tsp. salt

2 celery stalks

boquet garni: 1/4 tsp. thyme, 1 bay leaf, 6 parsley sprigs, 2 unpeeled garlic cloves, 2 whole cloves

Optional:  2 washed leeks

Heat oven to 450F.  Arrange the meat, bones and vegetables in a roasting pan and place in the middle portion of the oven.  Turn the ingredients occassionally so they will brown evenly, in 30 to 40 minutes.

Remove from the oven and drain fat out of roasting pan.  Transfer into an 8 or 10 quart soup kettle.  Pour a cup or two of the water to the pan, set over heat (or back in the still hot oven). Scrape up all the brown bits at the bottom.  Pour all that into the kettle.

Cover the ingredients in the kettle with water.  Bring to a simmer, skim and add the salt, celery and bouquet garni.  Simmer the stock for 4 to 5 hours.  More than that and it won’t make any difference in the outcome of your broth, unless it’s to reduce the volume.  Strain the stock out of the kettle into a bowl.


Do not let the broth boil, this will make the fat and scum incorporate into the broth and make it cloudy.

Don’t cover the kettle airtight unless the ingredients have cooked completely or the broth will turn sour.

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