While in Yelapa (Mexico) on vacation last week I came across a copy of Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential. Another couple had left it behind on their honeymoon in March, leaving inside the front cover a request that all future readers leave a note describing how they found Verana and their story – this made taking the book home with me in exchange for a lesser book that I had brought with me less of an option. Instead, I did the next best thing, I powered through the book in less than a day, returning it to the library with the story of our engagement inscribed on the cover page of what I believe to be one of the most exciting books in culinary history.
Bourdain’s book is not what you might think. Considering it is a book written by a chef you would think it covers food preparation, recipes, and the ins and outs of the kitchen, which I guess it does in a small way by sticking those subjects in between the lines of Bourdain’s crazy antics and stories. The stories of reused butter for hollandaise sauce, and the explanation of why you should never eat fish on a Monday are semi-horrifying, while at the same time entertaining. The tricks he provides are also rather interesting, which is what inspired me to make beef stock from dog bones and demi-glace from that stock.
Before you go crazy about the use of dog bones for stock there are a few things you need to know. First of all, our dog is not going hungry because we are using her bones, nor will she miss her bones. CA$H, our purebred Chocolate Lab field bred retriever is out at the breeder for three months going through field training so that in the fall she can help us bring home some delicious duck, partridge, and pheasant – she will be doing the work that her instincts crave.
Second, when I say dog bones what I really mean is the beef soup bones and bison split shanks that we spoil our pup with. These are actually bones that are intended to be used to make stock, we just happen to buy them for CA$H because she loves them. Given that she is gone for three months it is better we use them now than have them go to waste.
Third, no they are not pre-chewed.
All of the above said, here is the recipe.
5 pounds of dog bones (split shanks, soup bones, knuckle bones)
2 Large Carrots Chopped
2 Yellow Onions Chopped
2 Celery Stocks Chopped
2 Tomatoes Chopped
1 Can Tomato Paste
Several Bay Leafs
Several Sprig of Thyme
A bunch of Parsley
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Spread the bones out on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 min at 400℉, turn bones, add carrots, onions, celery over top and continue baking for another 30 min until bones are nicely browned. Be sure not to burn them.
Move the bones from the pan to a large dutch oven or stock pot and deglaze the bottom of the pan over high heat by adding water and scraping the residue off the bottom of the pan, add to stock pot. Add remaining ingredients as well as 16 cups of water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for four hours, skimming fat off the top as it rises.
I love having fresh beef stock available from the freezer, and a cool trick I learned from Bourdain’s book is to freeze the demi-glace into ice cubes so they can be used quickly to prepare delicious sauces.