This is really a consommé you don’t bother to clarify. Lovely as a soup on a hot day, it can also be made into a full meal by adding some dumplings or noodles.
- 2 kg beef rib bones
- 2 onions, halved
- 1 garlic bulb, halved
- 3 parsnips, quartered
- 2 carrots, quartered
- 1 tomato, halved
- 2 bay leaves
- leaves from 1 celery stalk
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 20 black peppercorns
- 2½ tbsp dry sherry (optional)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Place beef bones in a large roasting pan and roast, turning occasionally, for 1 hour or until browned all over. Add onions, garlic bulb, parsnips and carrots to pan in the last 30 minutes of baking.
Place beef bones and vegetables in a large saucepan or stockpot with tomato, bay leaves, celery leaves, thyme and peppercorns. Add enough water to cover by at least 2 cm. Bring to the boil, skimming off any scum and fat, then reduce heat to medium–low and simmer for at least 2 hours and up to 8, depending on how much time you have.
Strain through a fine sieve, discarding solids and skimming off all except the last bit of fat, then season with salt and pepper. Serve hot with a nip of sherry for those coming in from the fields, or fill up a Thermos of it to take the next time you venture into the great outdoors.
Photography by Alan Benson.