This simple stock, adapted from a recipe in "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," is a wonderful base for many soups, sauces, and, of course, for Julia's boeuf Bourguignon.
- Place the beef bones in a large heavy pot and cover with cold water by about two inches.
- Bring to a simmer over medium heat and skim the sum which rises to the top--this should take about five minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients and more cold water so that everything is covered by at least an inch or two.
- Bring the stock to a simmer again, skimming as necessary.
- When the stock is simmering (Do NOT allow it to boil), partially cover and maintain at a very slow simmer for four to five hours.
- If the water level gets too low, add boiling water to the pot.
- Skim as necessary.
- When the vegetables and the bones have given their all to the broth, strain the broth and discard the solids.
- Set the stock, uncovered in the refrigerator until the fat has risen to the top and solidified.
- Remove and discard the fat.
- Taste the degreased stock (remembering it contains no salt) and if it is not strong enough, reduce it over medium heat.
- When the stock is cold, store in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer.