Published January 1, 1998.
Contrary to modern kitchen wisdom, it takes a lot of browned beef and a few small bones to make good soup broth.
A truly rich and flavorful beef broth--the foundation of any beef soup--is notoriously difficult to make at home (and, apparently, in a can--after a tasting of more then 10 commercial products, we couldn't find one that came close to our final homemade recipe; Cook's often adds canned chicken broth to canned beef broth because the latter's flavor can be so poor).
A flavorful from-scratch broth made without slaving over a stove all day after bringing home a carload of beef--could we do it?
Use a full 6 pounds of beef shank (yes, you really do need this much) or a combination of chuck and small marrow bones. First brown the meat and an onion in the pan, then remove and deglaze the pan with red wine. Reduce the wine to a syrup, return the meat and onions to the pan, and let them "sweat" over low heat for about 20 minutes to unleash their flavorful juices. Then add water and simmer for 1 1/2 to two hours--certainly more time than it takes to open a can, but not an all-day affair, either.list of recipes