Roasting bones for stock
Flavourful brown stock, usually made with beef, veal, lamb, or turkey bones is one of the fundamentals of home cooking. It takes a little time, but not much effort. And roasted bone stock adds an immense amount of flavour — as an ingredient, or on its own, as a soup. Stock keeps well in the fridge, for about a week; or you can freeze little aliquots of it, and add it as needed.
Homemade brown stock is much better than almost anything you can buy in the store (some of which is offensively bland). And making your own is a great way to use every scrap of food. Never throw bones away! Keep them (freeze them) and make stock.
There are many kinds of stock, but roughly speaking, they are divided into white and brown stock, depending on whether you roast the bones first. As with browning meat generally, when browning bones the goal is to maximise the amount of crispy, dark brown content, without burning. This is flavour. You can roast aromatics (like onion, garlic, carrots) together with the meat, along with salt, and whole spices (like cloves, black pepper, and black cardamom).
– Bones (raw or leftover; beef, turkey, chicken, or whatever), maybe with a little meat still attached
– Onion, coarsley chopped
– Carrot, coarsely chopped
– Garlic, whole cloves, peeled
– whole black pepper
– beer, wine, or other liquid for deglazing
Toss everything together. Salt lightly. Add some oil, just to coat everything, if the bones look like they have no fat.
Place all the ingredients on a baking tray, in a single layer. Use aluminium foil to cover the tray, unless you don’t mind scrubbing for hours to clean the tray later; or unless you’re going to deglaze.
Bung everything together into the oven, at a medium temperature (350F, or 180C — or lower ~225F, if you don’t mind spending mroe time). Turn the meat over occasionally (every 10 or 15 minutes), to prevent anything from burning. If anything gets done early, and seems close to burning pull it out of the oven. If you are deglazing, make sure to add liquid and stir, to prevent anything from burning to the pan.
It will take about 1-2 hours to finish. The bones are ready when they are brown all over, getting brittle and almost black in spots. Take them out, and make stock.