I'm roasting some bones in the oven for beef stock. After they brown nicely -- developing a range of deep flavors -- I'll simmer in water in my stock pot into the evening. See the chicken stock post of a little earlier for more comments on stock making. As with chicken stock, I won't add salt or other seasonings. Just let the bones and marrow do their thing. We haven't had homemade beef broth for several years -- dunno why, just one of those things -- so I'm psyched.
I hadn't realized how easy it was to get beef bones. I asked a manager type at my local, locally owned grocery this morning, "How can I get bones for making beef stock?" thinking he'd have to go into the back and dig some out for me. He pointed to the freezer case two feet from where we were standing. "Right there!" he answered, and we both laughed a little.
I looked at the label. They were labeled "Dog Bones" and priced at $1.29 per pound. I picked out about $6 worth, 4 1/2 pounds or so.
I made some remark about how funny it was that people consider these to be just for dogs, when they make the most wonderful beef stock possible.
The manager guy nodded. "Yes!" he agreed. "Cooking is such a dying art."
"Not at our house!" I said, "We're just getting going."
"Ours, too!" he said.
We commiserated for a few moments about The State of Things, and parted best of beef-eating buddies, as it were.
Minutes later, I was in the checkout line. The cashier asked me about the bones -- what was I going to use them for?
"Stock," I said, "Like broth or bullion. You just roast them in the oven, and then simmer them in water for a while. It makes the most delicious stock, so much better than anything you could get from a can or a bullion cube." She was looking at me intently, so I went on. "Then you just use it for starting soups, or whatever. Wherever you would use stock. Like when a recipe calls for stock, or bullion cubes."
She nodded and continued ringing out my groceries.
Finally she asked the question that must have been on her mind all the while.
"Are they really made of real dogs?"